The government one of India’s poorest states just imposed a “luxury” tax on a samosas.
India’s northern Bihar state added samosas to the list of 23 “luxury items” that will be taxed at 13.5%, according to the BBC.
The government said that this tax was added in order “to fund development work,”according to NDTV.
Samosas, a popular street food, are savoury fried or baked pastries filled with potatoes, peas, or lentils, and sometimes served with a mint sauce or chutney.
Other items on the list include mosquito repellent, auto parts, battery parts, sand, cosmetics, and all sweets that cost more that 500 rupees ($7.50) per kilogram.
Given that Bihar is one of the poorest states in India, this decision is not likely to go unnoticed by regular people.
Indeed, politicians have already jumped to criticising the tax.
“I think [Chief Minister Nitish Kumar] and [president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal party] Lalu have decided to trouble the poor more. They have not done anything for Bihar; I wonder why they are making the poor people’s life tougher here. Imposing tax on items like samosas and kachoris is insane,” current spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party Shahnawaz Hussain said.
Bihar government imposing luxury tax on items like samosa & kachori is ridiculous as they are luxuries for the poor only.
— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) January 13, 2016
The government also waved an “entertainment tax” on a forthcoming film called “Chalk N Duster” because of its “strong social message.”