In a first for India, the State of Kerala proposes to introduce a ‘fat tax’ – as high as 14.5% – on items served in fast food outlets at like Dominos and McDonald’s.

Government has said that the restaurants were free to pass on the financial burden to consumers, but this would send prices up, and that is likely to adversely affect sales. The tax, proposed in the latest State Budget, may have a ripple effect in other States.

According to 2015 statistics, Kerala stands second in the country in the matter of child obesity, but the number of fast-food outlets in the State is comparatively low.

Several states are contemplating introduction of similar levies to control obesity levels. At the Union Government level, the ruling BJP said it was toying with the idea of imposing a ‘sin tax’ on carbonated, sugary beverages, while in the State of Bihar, the hugely popular samosa and sweets costing over Rs. 500 a kg have luxury taxes clamped on them. All this, in an effort to shape a healthier India!


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