With chicken coming under the zero tax bracket under the GST that rolled out on July 1, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac warned on Friday that action would be taken if the prices are not brought down.
Speaking to the media in Thiruvananthapuram, Issac said till June 30, Kerala was the only state in the country that levied a tax on chicken -- under the 14.5 per cent tax bracket.
"With the GST and chicken now under zero tax bracket, those who deal in sales of chicken meat should straight away reduce 14.5 per cent. Today, a kilogramme of chicken is sold at Rs 103 a kilo. Traders should straight away reduce 14.5 per cent of that and it should be sold at Rs 87 a kilo," Issac said, and warned that action will be taken if the law is not followed.
The state-owned KEPCO has begun selling chicken at the new rates.
Those attached to the Poultry Association however say that only after three weeks will the prices of chicken come down.
"What the Minister says is correct, but then the product is in short supply and for that to be streamlined it will take three weeks," said an office bearer of the Association.
Issac said the state-owned Civil Supplies (Supplyco) has already reduced prices of 52 items.
A franchisee owner of a leading chicken dealer in the state capital said "Ever since the GST came into effect we are not even getting 25 per cent of our daily orders".