Skip to main content

India's 75% artisans don't know if GST is applicable to their handmade products: Jaya Jaitley's elite NGO

By Our Representative
A recent high-profile report on the imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on handmade products has complained that the Government of India (GoI) has not shown any consideration for 90 million agricultural households, "who necessarily are connected to the artisan sector and sometimes overlap in activities."
Pointing out that the GoI has looked at GST landscape "from the point of view of formal status", the report wonders, "Will a basket maker sell his bamboo baskets made from raw material from the local forest to his neighbouring farmer with tax? Will a tribal terracotta tile maker in Madhya Pradesh make a roof for his neighbouring farmer who gives him grain and charge tax?"
Prepared by Jaya Jaitly of the Dastkari Haat Samiti and the National Association of Craftspeople, and Ritu Sethi of the Craft Revival Trust, known to be elite NGOs seeking to promote handicrafts across India for the last several decades, the report states, on the basis of a "rapid survey", that 82% of the craftspeople would be covered by GST, as their "annual income" would be more than Rs 20 lakh.
However, shockingly, to the question, "Do you know even if annual income under Rs 20 lakh you have to register if you are taking your products outside the state?", 76% said no. A major reason cited for this is, only 19% of them are able to understand "the procedure for GST in their craft."
When asked whether they knew about the fact that the tax is applicable for their craft, only 25% answered in the positive. When asked if they have understood procedure for GST in their craft, only 19% answer in the positive. On being asked whether they knew of the tax applicable on their craft, 25% answered in the positive.
To the query, "Do you know that even if selling price is more with new tax, you will get reverse input refund on tax paid for raw material?", only 11% said they knew. On being asked if they have a computer in their home or nearby, 60% said "Yes", and when asked "Are you dependent on an educated person, accountant or CA to help you with procedures required by GST?", 57% said "Yes".
The report states, "The points and queries raised in this representation show that there is vast confusion at every level of the crafts sector which has been unrepresented in the preparation of GST. Is has happened because there has been no preparatory meetings with experienced representatives working in the field in this sector."
Pointing out that "crafts and handlooms have been treated as formal industries and material rather than skill based", the report says, the GST virtually "makes the word ‘skill' meaningless", evn as using the word 'hand' callously, wiping the relationship between the two "out of existence."
"Crafts and Handlooms have not been coherently slotted and come under tax slabs ranging from 0%, 0.25%, 3%, 5%,12%,18% and 28%", the report states, adding, all it is "impossible to tackle".
In fact, the report underlines, "No sympathy or consideration has been given to the ecological aspects of natural fibres, natural dyes, organically produced cotton, ahimsa silk, recycling of waste materials, which are all historically, culturally and traditionally valued in India".
According to the report, " Customers benefit only at the cost of the Indian artisan as the competitive and comparative advantage of cheap mechanized imports and the Indian mechanized industry are completely to the disadvantage of artisans with hand skills who use little or no machine assistance in their work."
This predicament has taken shape because, says the report, "Till now the crafts sector has largely remained untaxed because of which products were cheaper and price competitive, e.g., handmade shoes, handloom fabric, handmade apparel etc. GST on these products is in the range of 5% to 28% making these products expensive and highly uncompetitive."

Comments

TRENDING

Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

Pellet gun fire severely injures Dalit worker off Bangladesh border

By Kirity Roy*  This is regarding an incident of firing pellets by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel attached with Panchadoji Border Outpost of ‘E’ Company of 90 BSF Battalion on a Schedule Caste youth of village Parmananda under Dinhata Police Station of Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. The victim was severely injured and one portion of his face became disfigured due to pellet firing by the BSF.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.