Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government has reiterated its demand for exemption of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on handicraft items like goods, plates cups made from sal/siali leaves, and rope made from sabai grass.
Finance minister Shashi Bhusan Behera on Monday raised the issue of exemption of GST on handicraft goods in a letter to union finance minister Arun Jaitley.
Behera said, “A large number of tribal people collect sal or siali leaves from the forest stitch them and sell in markets for livelihood. These products were exempted from Odisha VAT act and there were no excise duty on them too.
The State minister also urged the GST council for exemption on handicraft products of Odisha including stone carvings, woodwork, pattachitra, applique work, palm leaf etching, brass and dokra work, bell metal articles, terracotta crafts, santhal and saura paintings.
Besides, these goods were also in the exempted category under the Odisha VAT Act but most of the items now attract 12 or 18 percent GST which will adversely affect the artisans, Shashi Bhusan Behera said.