From ‘green’ to ‘orange’… industry needs to fight back

The GST confusion still lingers, inspite of it being over two months of its rollout. The printing industry is still confused as to whether the rate of GST is 12% or 18%. According to the finance ministry, printing is considered to be supply of services, attracting a GST of 18%. But, barring printing of books, newspapers and journals, publishers only provide content to printer as other consumables like paper, are provided by printers, for which the GST is 12%. Moreover, GST on printed brochures and leaflets is 5%. So, the industry people are still in a fix. There’s still no clarity on the same. This is affecting the business adversely.

While the industry was still reeling under the pressure of GST, another predicament seems to be taking over. Printing industry is now classified as an ‘Orange’ category industry rather than ‘green.’ This is according to a report released by Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi on the Final Document on Revised

Classification of Industrial Sectors Under Red, Orange, Green and White Categories, which stated that industries are categorised primarily based on the sizes and consumption of resources. The pollution due to discharge of emissions and effluents and its likely impact on health was not considered as primary criteria. The basis for putting printing in orange category included coloured waste-waters containing dyes and VOC and emissions generated.

The printing industry has already become more environment friendly and it was considered ‘green.’ It has become an important factor for all machinery and equipment manufacturers. There is so much awareness in the industry, even printers look for environment friendly ways to dispose off the waste products. In West Bengal, printing has been categorised as ‘Orange’ industry and other cities may follow suit. It is time that we all come together and fight for our ‘green’ status.

We appeal to all industry associations across the industry to come forward and seek relief for the industry for both GST and ‘orange’ industry status.

Sonal Khurana
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