A court in northern India's Rajasthan state asked the state government whether it considered garlic a vegetable or a spice. The question arose when the court was hearing a public interest litigation and asked the state government whether selling garlic in a grain market should attract Good and Service Tax (GST).
The state government will submit its reply later this week, Times of India reported.
The petition was filed by vegetable market vendor association – formally known as “Aaloo, Pyaaz Aur Lehsun Viktreta Sangh” - from Jodhpur. The court also questioned the reason behind farmers being allowed to sell garlic as a spice in a grain market when it is a vegetable.
“It should be considered as either of the two,” the petitioner said.
Other vegetable associations too have applied to become parties in the matter.
Additional advocate general Shyamsundar Ladrecha explained in the court that in order to benefit the farmers, the state government allowed sale of garlic bulbs in grain markets through an law amendment in August 2016.
“Following a bumper garlic production in the state that year, the prices of garlic began to drop. Also, there were space constraints in vegetable markets for the sale of garlic. So, the government, in order to encourage competition among the buyers, allowed the farmers to sell their produce in grains markets as well,” said Ladrecha.
He added that selling garlic in grain markets does not attract any tax on farmers.