Parotta is being taxed at 18 per cent under GST, while roti at 5 per cent
The government's move to put parotta on a higher bracket than roti under the goods and services tax or GST has angered people on social media, who pointed out that both are similarly prepared flat breads and a staple of most Indian meals.
Bengaluru firm ID Fresh Foods was told by a special court that its products - whole wheat parotta and Malabar parotta with a shelf life of three-five days - were not ready-to-eat as they needed to be heated before they are consumed, meaning they will continue to be taxed at 18 per cent.
Similar items like khakra, plain chapatti or roti, however, are ready-to-eat and are taxed at a lesser 5 per cent, the Authority for Advance Rulings said.
The matter drew reactions from social media users, including industrialist Anand Mahindra.
"With all the other challenges the country is facing, it makes you wonder if we should be worrying about an existential crisis for the 'Parota.' In any case, given Indian jugaad skills, I'm pretty sure there will be a new breed of 'Parotis' that will challenge any categorisation!" Mr Mahindra tweeted.
Soon, the hashtag #HandsOfPorotta started trending on Twitter.
Some people alleged the different tax brackets were an example of "cultural racism", with many saying roti is mostly consumed in northern India and parotta in the south, while others said it is simply a matter of taxing products under the right categories and such allegations should be avoided.
This is not just a porotta for us, it's an emotion. #HandsOffPorotta#PorottaDaypic.twitter.com/am3BZ7cLwv— Dony Mathew (@DonyMathew2) June 12, 2020
Yep, now they want to tax our food. This is like saying to Chotta Bheem to pay more for his laddus. THIS is just freaking unacepetable! #HandsOffPorotta#Keralapic.twitter.com/gEvuUYgoRj— Joachim Antony (@JoachimAntony25) June 12, 2020
Porotta is called 'Farmaish' here in MP and it far more tastier than roti or tandoori. Farmaish served with gravy-fied chicken is heaven!!
anyway 18% gst is way too much #HandsOffPorotta— Friendlass. (@___VintageSoul) June 12, 2020
The loyal fans of the Malabar cuisine simply cannot keep their #handsoffporotta, lockdown or not. Share your favorite porotta recipes with us. pic.twitter.com/ckgIddBjpf— Kerala Tourism (@KeralaTourism) June 12, 2020
ID Fresh Foods started in 2005 with a small store selling idli and dosa batter. The company on its website says it has now put home-made meals on dining tables in Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad, among other cities.