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A lady weaving a cloth at a handloom in Coimbatore [Photo/ANI]
A lady weaving a cloth at a handloom in Coimbatore [Photo/ANI]

Coimbatore: Weavers demand GST exemption to handloom sector

ANI | Updated: Oct 17, 2019 16:00 IST

Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) [India], Oct 17 (ANI): Scores of weavers gathered here on Thursday to protest against the existing Goods and Tax Services (GST) in the handloom sector.
The weavers are demanding that the Centre remove the GST imposed on handloom weaving citing it is tearing the Indian handloom weaving industry.
Weavers claim that the 5 per cent GST on the handloom sector is resulting in losses for weavers forcing them to move away from their traditional craft.
Thirumeni, a handloom weaver and a trader speaking to ANI said that the Centre must exempt the handloom sector from GST to protect the rich tradition and save the business.
"We want the government to remove the GST from the handloom sector. It is leaving a negative impact on our industry. This is a non-polluting industry so the Centre must remove the GST," he added.
Another weaver said that the men taking up the weaving profession are facing difficulties getting married due to a lack of steady flow of income.
"Marriage is also a big issue. The men adopting weaving as a profession are getting married as there no regular flow of income. There is no financial assurance. Several weavers have crossed 30 years of age and still are unmarried," said Sowmnay, a weaver.
GST was introduced by the central Government to rationalise multiple taxes on goods and services and to bring transparency in the taxation system. It is applicable to the Textile sectors also, including handlooms.
At first, for the handloom industry, the GST tariff rate on goods was fixed at 12 per cent but later the Centre on July 27 slashed it to 5 per cent.
Also, the 12-per cent tax was exempted from other handicraft products, which had earlier been charged with a 18-per cent tax.
Not only that, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also shot off a letter to the Prime Minister in this regard. He argued that the weavers, poor tribals and sculptors depend on these handcrafted products and that high GST would affect their livelihoods. (ANI)