On items like idols of clay GST has been reduced from 28 percent to 12 percent. Also people with idol business of worth Rs 20 lakhs do not need to register with GST. Only 5 percent tax on cotton quilts worth up to Rs 1000. Cotton quilts worth more than that will be levied 12 percent tax. And 5 percent tax which was levied on cotton sports has been removed.
EPCH has been regularly representing to the GST Council various measures which are required to be taken to facilitate smooth transition of Handicrafts Sector in the GST regime. EPCH had requested for GST rate concessions on various handicrafts items, reduction of GST rates on job work, measures for blockage of working capital funds, issue pertaining to stock in hand, utilization of duty credit scrips, GST on fair participation, GST on foreign agency commission and freight charges paid by exporters and more.
It has to be remembered that the Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik had recently wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to reconsider the state’s proposal for exemption of handloom and handicrafts from the purview of Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the larger interest of weavers and artisans. “With the introduction of GST on July 1, 2017, handloom fabrics and handloom apparels have been made taxable with GST rates of five per cent and 12 per cent, respectively and handicrafts have been levied a GST rate of 12 per cent or 18 per cent depending upon the type of handicraft,” Patnaik stated.
Another state which had strong demands in cutting down the rates of handicrafts was the Jammu and Kashmir. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was very keen on these two issues and had asked him to forcefully flag the concerns of the J&K’s artisans and Walnut growers at the GST Council meeting.