GST affects lives of people with disabilities

Government of India is almost set to roll out Goods and Services Tax. Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax throughout India to replace taxes levied by the central and state governments. It was introduced as The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Second Amendment) Act 2017, following the passage of Constitution 122nd Amendment Bill. The GST is governed by GST Council and its Chairman is Union Finance Minister of India – Arun Jaitley.
GST is expected to be applicable from 1 July 2017.

It is great to see that tax has been removed or reduced on many daily living needs like milk, vegetables etc., it’s sad to see tax has been increased from 0% to 5%, 12% or 18% on goods for people with disabilities such as assistive aids like Wheel chairs, Braille Paper, Brailler etc., Some of the items for which taxes are imposed are:

  • Braille Typewriters – 18%
  • Braille Paper – 12%
  • Braille Watches – 12%
  • Braillers – 5%
  • Carriages for disabled people – motorised or not – 5%
  • Cars for physically disabled persons – 18%

These are not luxuries needs to people with disabilities but essential needs. Hence, request concerned authorities to exempt goods and services for people with disabilities from the taxes. Thanks in advance.

Srinivasu Chakravarthula
Accessibility Evangelist
Goal is to propagate and provide rich and inclusive web experience and create an accessible world!

Currently I lead Accessibility efforts at Informatica, Earlier I was a Sr. Subject Matter Experts at Deque.

Prior to Deque, I was leading Accessibility efforts at HCL Technologies. My role includes mentoring team, working on innovative solutions, spread the word, engage with customers on accessibility etc., Before this, I was with PayPal leading Accessibility QA. My work includes develop and maintain Accessibility Automation Tools, Accessibility Evaluation of various products, Evangelize Accessibility across the company, provide end-to-end Accessibility solutions to product teams, represent company for accessibility related initiatives in the industry.

Prior to join PayPal, I was working for the award-winning Accessibility team at Yahoo! India Research & Development; where I have played instrumental role in setting up an Accessibility Lab and drive accessibility initiatives. Besides offering services to our office in India, I was also supporting to Yahoo! offices in Jordon, Singapore, China etc.

I am also on the National Advisory Board of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) India – through which, I endeavor to create awareness about standardization and accessibility across the country. Plus, I am also member of NASSCOM Disability Working Committee to create awareness about accessibility among other IT companies. I also offer expertise to the National Association for the Blind Karnataka Branch through its Governing Council.

In November, 2005 – I joined Net Systems Informatics (India) Pvt. Ltd as an Accessibility Tester. I was responsible to test websites as per Section 508 and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0.

In addition, I was responsible to sell Accessibility workshops (for Section 508, WCAG 1.0, Creating Accessible e-Learning using Flash) organized by the company. Further to create awareness among Government sector about […]

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