Bhubaneswar: The State Government on Friday demanded exemption of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on handloom and handicraft products.
Finance Minister Sashibhusan Behera raised the demand at the GST Council meeting held at New Delhi. At present handloom products like Sambalpuri, Bonkei, Maniabandha and Tussar sarees manufactured by weavers are exempted from tax.
Similarly, handicraft goods like palm-leaf applique, stone and wood works, terracotta products, patta paintings and tribal crafts are also exempted from tax. More than 3.5 lakh people in Odisha depend on handloom and handicraft sectors for their livelihood.
The finance minister also proposed that the rate of GST on Kendu leaves should be kept on a lower rate of five percent to support the livelihood of millions of kendu leaf pluckers in tribal areas.