Tax free Assistive & Suportive Devices for DISABLE PEOPLE to facilitate their quality life
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Respected Arun Jaitley Jee
Subject: exemption of GST on assistive and supportive devices used by persons with disabilities for living independent life.
Respected Stake Holders
As government of India, through your department and under your leadership is going to pass and thereafter implement goods and services tax GST. I am concerned with the plight of the differently abled persons of our country as, the articles essential for their day to day living will become costlier. People may be worried about the eatables and luxury items but I am concerned with the assistive and supportive devices used by persons with disabilities for living an independent life. For a person with a hearing impairment, a hearing aid is essential, for someone with a loco-motor disability, a wheelchair is indispensable, and for the visually impaired, books in Braille are a prerequisite for their education.
Under the GST, 5% tax on goods used by people with disabilities has been approved. So far, these goods were exempt from any form of excise and customs duty. As per rates approved by the GST council 5 per cent tax has been imposed on all assistive and supportive devices. “Braille books for blind children and wheelchairs for the orthopedically handicapped will now become more expensive. The cost of printing Braille books is already higher. For instance, a 45-page book in Braille will be 100 pages as it is bigger in size. Cars have 28% tax that means persons with disabilities who buy cars for mobility and not luxury will not be able to afford it. the specially designed cars for the persons with disabilities should also be exempted from tax.
As your good-self knows that most of people with disabilities come from the economically weaker sections especially in the state of J&K, because of armed conflict, and the decision of imposing tax would be an impediment in their education and employability. In addition to support from the government, it is NGOs that are working for their empowerment. The additional burden of taxes will make supporting situation worse.
Around 5 per cent of the population has some sort of disability in our country because of armed conflict. Apart from an increase in prices, my concern is that it will force people to use poor quality devices. Wheelchairs and other devices produced in the country are already of poor quality, so most of the devices used by the differently abled people are purchased from other countries. The rich can afford and poor will become the causality.
Your good-self being visionary leader knows the miseries of persons with disabilities and their reliability on Corporate Social Responsibility and charities offered by people especially business class. It is requested that the tax may please be exempted on the assistive and supportive devices essential and directly used by persons with disabilities so that independent living of persons with disabilities is not expensive and somehow in a humble way our country through your efforts would facilitate the quality of life of the differently abled sector of our society.
The persons with multiple disabilities have medical needs beyond the comprehension of common man without empathy viz diapers, bed sheets, dressing material like cotton bandage, betadine, ointments. These essential items for the easy survival of said disability may also be exempted from tax.
with this background I file the petition and request people all around country to support this petition by signing it, and press upon the Government Through Honourable finance minister to exempt tax on the assistive & supportive devices for the persons with disabilities and support the noble cause.
With Best Regards
Dr Mahmood Ahmad Khan
Professor Department of Education
University of Kashmir
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