Reports: Baba Ramdev, RSS lobbying govt to tax Coca-Cola, PepsiCo heavily in upcoming budget

As per reports on Firstpost, Baba Ramdev and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are putting pressure on the finance and health ministries to impose a heavy tax on beverage companies selling products of high sugar content. They have to their advantage recommendations of the GST panel headed by chief economic adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian which sought a sin tax of 40 percent on aerated drinks, tobacco and luxury cars. This rate is more than double the suggested standard GST rate of 17-18 percent.

Patanjali Ayurved spokesperson SK Tijarawala refused to comment on whether his group was keen to push a desi version of the colas to replicate products offered by Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Haridwar-based Patanjali currently offers herbal FMCG products and competes with top Indian and foreign multinational companies.

This April, Ramdev said his Patanjali would soon upstage giants like Colgate, Unilever and Nestle. “Colgate will be below Patanjali by this year, and in three years, we will overtake Unilever. Patanjali products would make shut the ‘gate’ in Colgate. The birds in Nestle’s nest (logo) will also fly away,” Ramdev told reporters.

Patanjali is aiming at a turnover of over Rs 10,000 crore in 2016-17, double that of last fiscal. The company, which has been grown exponentially in the last four years, plans to venture into the exports and e-commerce this year.

Recently, baba Ramdev announced that he will be launching his own line of western clothing for both men and women to counter the success of MNCs in the Indian market.

Ramdev said, “Patanjali’s plans involve getting into the garment sector through Swadeshi jeans that the youth of the country are now demanding”. Read more here.

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