‘Paan’ to become sweeter as ‘Gulkhand’ becomes tax-free

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Lucknow:The famous Banarasi ‘paan’, known for its sweetness all over the world, would now become sweeter after Uttar Pradesh government has decided to exempt aromatic rose petal-based ‘gulkand’ from tax net. “UP is a major ‘gulkand’ manufacturing state with Kannauj leading the way. Gulkand has medicinal values and the decision to make it tax-free will give a major boost to the industry in the state,” said Amit, a leading retailer in Lucknow.

An expert said that Kannauj itself accounted for manufacture of around Rs 300 crore-worth ‘gulkand’, which is famous not only in India, but off shore as well.”The tax exemption will reduce cost of meetha paan,” said Monu, a ‘paan’ retailer.Traders said there was no VAT on ‘gulkand’ in Rajasthan.

‘Gulkand’, which adds flavour in ‘paan’ (preparation combining betel leaf, tobacco and nuts), was recently exempted from Value Added Tax (VAT) by the Uttar Pradesh government.The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.