Bhubaneswar: Reiterating the demand of the state, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to reconsider the state’s proposal for exemption of handloom and handicrafts from the purview of Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the larger interest of weavers and artisans.
Patnaik’s request to the PM came almost three months after Odisha Finance Minister raised the same demand for GST exemption on handloom and handicrafts products.
Maintaining that more than 3.5 lakh people in Odisha depend on handloom and handicraft sectors for their livelihood, Patnaik in a letter to Prime Minister Modi said prior to introduction of GST, the State Government had always exempted these products from the Value Added Tax (VAT). Excise duty was also not applicable on these products, he noted.
“With the introduction of GST on July 1, 2017, handloom fabrics and handloom apparels have been made taxable with GST rates of five per cent and 12 per cent, respectively and handicrafts have been levied a GST rate of 12 per cent or 18 per cent depending upon the type of handicraft,” Patnaik stated.
“Though my Finance Minister had strongly argued in the GST Council to keep handloom and handicrafts in the exemption list, it was not agreed to. This is likely to lead to increase in prices of these products, which will adversely affect the livelihood of the poor families depending upon the production of these goods,” added Patnaik.