Handloom, handicraft artisans seek complete waiver of GST

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Notwithstanding the reduction of GST on the handloom and handicraft sector, discontent artisans has sought complete waiver waiver of tax on such products.
According to a PTI report: Handloom and handicraft artisans participated in a seminar here organised by the Crafts Council of India on GST, and demanded withdrawal of the new tax.
“We will take a resolution after the seminar based on the demands from the artisans and will send a representation to the GST Council,” President, Crafts Council, Kasturi Gupta Menon was quoted by PTI as saying.
The GST Council, it its 23rd meeting on November 10, had cut tax rate on most handloom and handicraft products, except khadi, to 12 per cent.
Khadi has been exempted from GST, an artisans’ body official said.
The GST rate on these products before the revision varied between 18 per cent and 28 per cent.
There are around nine crore weavers and artisans in the country, and most of them have been affected due to the GST, the official said.
Handloom and handicraft products were exempted in the previous value-added tax regime.
“Already more than 50 per cent of weavers have switched their profession to running rickshaws (including battery-operated rickshaws) for survival in Shantipur in Hoogly district,” an artisan was quoted by PTI as saying.
Former Central Board of Excise and Customs Chairman Sumit Dutt Majumdar said the Guwahati meeting had attempted to correct some flaws affecting the sector.

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