India Branded rice set to get dearer; traders, mill owners worried.

It nigh impossible to think of a south Indian meal without rice. And now, with the country getting ready for the rollout of the goods and services (GST) tax regime, South Indians, for whom rice is a staple food, have a reason to worry – all varieties of branded rice are set to get dearer by 5% per kilogram, come July 1. Karnataka is likely to be worst affected owing to the additional cess on grains levied by the state government on traders and millers. Besides the 5% GST tax on branded food grains, the state government levies a 1.5% market tax on food grains, which the Agriculture Marketing Produce Committee (APMC) has decided to continue even after the rollout of GST.