Naveen for full GST exemption on handloom, handicraft products

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday urged the Centre to totally exempt handloom and handicraft products from the Goods and Services Tax.

“I urge that this issue needs urgent reconsideration in the GST Council for extending GST exemption on these (handloom and handicraft) products in the interest of the weavers and artisans,” Patnaik wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Stating that Odisha is well known for its handloom and handicraft products, Patnaik said a large number of weavers and artisan families earn their livelihood from this diverse production base, which is next only to agriculture.

“Therefore, prior to introduction of GST, the state government had always exempted these products from VAT (Value-Added Tax). In most of these products, there was also no excise duty,” the chief minister said.

With the introduction of GST with effect from July 1, 2017, handloom fabric and apparels have been made taxable with rates of 12 per cent or 18 per cent, depending upon the type of the handicraft.