GUWAHATI, June 30: Though after a strong appeal from the entire disability sector to roll back the GST and bring it to zero% on goods used by persons with disabilities, the government did not rollcback the GST, rued Shishu Sarothi’s executive director Arman Ali in a statement issued to the press today.
Shishu Sarothi is a centre for rehabilitation & training for multiple disability. According to Ali, so far, goods being used by them were exempted from any form of excise and customs duty and imposing tax on them in return is hampering accessibility, inclusion, mobility and discrimitory to persons with disabilities.
"Chapter 8 of The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 – Duties and Responsibilities of Appropriate Governments clearly states that the appropriate government shall develop scheme programmes to promote the persol mobility of persons with disabilities at affordable cost to provide for, — (a) incentives and concessions; (b) retrofitting of vehicles; and (c) persol mobility assistance.”
“The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which India has signed and ratified, calls on tions to promote the development and adoption of assistive technologies and devices for persons with disabilities, again ‘giving priority to technologies at an affordable cost,” Ali said.
Despite the initial 18 per cent tax imposed on some of the items brought down to 5 per cent after the appeal it still does not suffice the need. “If the government does not invest on persons with disabilities, how can they become contributing citizens, apply for jobs, seek education and become equal with others,” Ali said.
A candle light vigil was staged today by Disability Rights Group NCPEDP and other organizations in Delhi. In solidarity with the Disability Rights Group, Shishu Sarothi also held a small protest to demand the government to roll back GST on disability goods.