Baripada: Demanding Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemption on Sabai Grass and Sal leaf, the Jharkhand Mukti Morhca (JMM) staged road blockades at two places in Bisoi block of Mayurbhanj district today.
JMM activists blocked the National Highways 18 and 49 since 7 am in the morning and will continue it till 3 pm, as per party sources.
Vehicular communication between Baripada and Bangiriposhi, Bisoi and Jashipur has been hit due to the agitation. Hundreds of vehicles are stranded on either sides of the road.
Earlier on September 25, Finance Minister Sashibhusan Behera had informed, the GST Council in a meet held on September 9, 2017 in Hyderabad had slashed the taxes on the said products. The tax on Sabai Grass weaving ropes and Sal leaf plates were slashed to 5% from 18%.
Odisha had been demanding tax exemption on handicraft and handloom products. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also written a letter in the matter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Behera had also demanded the Union Finance Minister for GST exemption on the above products. As the livelihood of poor tribals and sculptors depend on these products, Behera had put forth the demand at the GST Council meet.