Rationalization of GST rates on Optical Industry

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Dear Popular Government of Republic of India

In the Proposed Rates for GST, you have exempted Hearing Aids and umbrella from Taxation but at the same time imposed 12% GST on Low Vision Aids 18% GST on Spectacles, 12% GST on Contact Lenses and 28% GST on Sunglasses. We would like the draw the attention of the Finance Minister & GST Council on the following facts:

1) Spectacles: India has largest number of preventable blindness cases in the world and among them most common problem is refractive error, which is treated by a pair of spectacles. Spectacles are not some fancy devices but just like Hearing aids they are very critical as the person cannot see normally without Glasses. Hence we request you to kindly make spectacles upto Rs4000/- Tax free atleast.

2) Low Vision Aids are corrective devices for patients with low vision who cannot lead a normal life because of poor vision which cannot be corrected but can only be enhanced by these devices hence they should be made TAX FREE completely.

3) Contact Lenses are of various kinds, many of them are used  for therapeutic purposes to treat corneal blindness like in the cases of Kreatoconus (highly prevalent in India) , corneal scarring etc. Hence except Color Cosmetic Contact Lenses all contact lenses must be made TAX FREE.

4) Sunglasses: Every year India faces huge economic loss due to cataracts, which have been scientifically proven that wearing UV protective sunglasses reduces the risk of the same. Dear government please understand that sunglasses are not luxury but a necessary device for Sun Protection (Much more important than an Umbrella which is Tax Free).

Dear government maybe our predecessors of Optometry Practioners & Opticians were not so quipped to draw your attention to these issues but now we want you to seriously look into these aspects. These are very important for vision correction. Hence in the public interest we seek your intervention to reconsider the proposed GST Tax rates for the Optometric & Optical practices products.

On Behalf of the entire Industry!



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