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Mohammed Naser Azeez, Managing Director, Aquality Water Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

India: Water is the most essential requirement of human, animal, and ecological life. Assured availability of potable water is vital for human and economic development. India is home to 18% of the global human population and 15% of the global livestock population.

However, the availability of freshwater sources is very limited and it has only 4% of global freshwater even out of which less than 1% is useable.

The declining water sources are intimidating the livelihood of over 1400 million people in the country. From 5,177 cubic meters per capita availability in 1951, we have come down to 1,368 cubic meters in 2021 which is likely to further go down to 1,293 cubic meters in 2025. If the present trend continues, in 2050, freshwater availability is likely to decline to around 1,140 cubic meters.

While freshwater availability is a challenge, the lack of assured availability of potable water makes it much more difficult for households and local communities in semi-urban and rural areas. Despite the concentrated efforts carried out by the Government of India under Jal Jeevan Mission, we still have more than 50% of the rural household that is not yet connected with piped water supply.

Water pollution is a major issue concerning health and it is an increasingly dangerous problem affecting people across the world. We are familiar with water contaminants like major ions, heavy metals, arsenic, industrial chemicals, dyes, and other organic pollutants. Contaminated water can harbor bacteria, those responsible for diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis A, and polio.

In the absence of access to clean drinking water at home, families especially the middle class and lower middle class buy portable water treatment systems to purify water making it safe to consume. Most households buy these over-the-counter available water purification systems out of necessity due to unsafe water supplies. We wish to highlight the issue to Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, Honorable Finance Minister of India before she could finalize the Union Budget 2022-23 and present it to the nation.

The health-critical Water Purification Systems are in the 18% slab of GST. We urge the Finance Minister to give it a serious thought and reduce the GST levied on Household Water Purification System to 12% or lower GST application so that it is affordable to low-income households as well. Safe and clean water will not only provide safety from water-borne diseases but at the same time will reduce the burden of healthcare facilities.

Aquality Water Solutions Pvt. Ltd. believes that innovation holds the key to growth and sustainability and has been working for almost two decades in the water sector providing cost-effective solutions to families in lower strata of the society. As a strong mission-driven organization, it has worked relentlessly with the sole intention of providing clean drinking water to the people and has significantly contributed to the water treatment segment that has helped in improving the quality of life of citizens with commitment, technological innovations, and quality excellence.

The large parts of the country have very hard and saline water and people are forced to use the same for their daily needs resulting in skin diseases, diarrhea, damage of hair and skin, and damaging other objects cleaned by the water.

At Aquality, we are quite hopeful that this issue must be taken care of by the government making the water purification system a more affordable and effective healthcare solution by lowering the taxes while improving the economy of families across the country.

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