25 September, Bhubaneswar
The GST Council has conceded to the demand of the Odisha government to reduce the GST on handloom and handicraft goods, state Finance Minister Shashi Bhushan Behera said.
Behera told news persons here that the decision to reduce tax on handicraft goods was taken at the GST Council meeting held at Hyderabad recently. The minister said the GST on Sabai ropes and cups and plates stitched from Sal/ Siali leaves has been reduced from 18 per cent to 5 per cent, while the tax rates on idols of clay which was 28 per cent, has been exempted from tax.
He said, khadi fabric, sold through Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KVIC) and KVIC certified outlets have also been exempted from tax. The GST on idols of stone has been reduced from 28 per cent to 12 per cent. Earlier, the tax rates on different handicraft goods were 28, 18 or 12 per cent under GST.
Odisha had been demanding to exempt tax from the handicraft and handloom goods for quite some time now and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written a letter to the Prime Minister to exempt handicrafts and handloom goods from GST.
Behera had also written a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley not to cover handicraft and other goods under GST and demanded in the GST council earlier in favour of the demand since the livelihood of the tribal and poor artisans mostly depend on these goods.
The demand of Odisha was discussed in the 21st meeting of the GST Council held in Hyderabad and the GST Council reduced the GST as per the demand of the state government, he said.