The dosa, one of south India’s beloved snacks, has been exempted from Kerala’s proposed ‘fat tax,’ a report in the Financial Express said. The decision to impose a 14.5% ‘fat tax’ was made by the state’s finance minister TM Thomas Isaac in July mostly on pizzas, burgers and other junk food. This is the first time any government in the country has decided to impose a fat tax in a bid to discourage consumption of food that may lead to obesity. Countries like Denmark have introduced such moves, only to be scrapped a year later after public backlash. A 5% tax was also proposed on coconut oil with its repercussions likely to be severe in the state.
The report in the Financial Express said the Subject Committee of the Assembly made it clear that the tax will be imposed only on products like burgers, tacos, pasta, doughnuts and patties, leaving out dosas, a most common breakfast dish in the state. Although dosas are made with a dash of oil, people would be happy the dish has been exempted. The exemption has been extended to products made by prisoners as well. Many prisons in Kerala have received praise for churning out good quality food products through prisoners who get paid through the program as well.
The new LDF government in the state, voted earlier in May, has complained that the coffers are largely empty because of massive corruption and mismanagement of funds in the earlier Congress-led regime. The imposition of the fat tax was also seen as an attempt to bolster finances of the state.