Siddaramaiah urges exemption of GST on handmade products

New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday wrote to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, requesting him to exempt various categories of handmade products from the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

In a letter dated October 19, the Chief Minister, who received a representation from a committee constituted by Gram Seva Sangh, mentioned that the imposition of the GST on such products has had an adverse effect on the livelihood of artisans, who are engaged in producing these products.

“As you are aware, handmade products of various kinds are produced by millions of artisans and poor rural households in India. In Bengaluru, for the past few days, a noted theatre activist Prasanna has been undertaking a satyagraha and hunger strike against GST on many handmade products,” the letter stated.

“A detailed representation regarding exempting handmade products produced and marketed by the producer co-operative societies and their federations from GST, including a definition of what constitute handmade products and raising the exemption of registration turnover limit of individuals and SHGs producing handmade products to Rs.50 lakhs is attached to this letter. It includes a large set of products ranging from handmade butter to handmade paper. Imposition of GST on such products has had an adverse effect on the livelihood of such artisans engaged in producing such products,” the Chief Minister wrote.

Siddaramaiah, taking into account the urgency of the matter, urged the Finance Minister to take up the matter on priority in the next GST Council meeting.

“This representation requires serious and urgent consideration and a positive resolution. This would not only benefit a large segment of our rural population but would also give a boost to rural employment and sustainability. I, therefore, urge you to take this issue on a priority basis in the next GST Council and decide favourably benefitting a large segment of rural artisans,” he said.

The next GST Council meet is scheduled for November 9 in Guwahati. (ANI)