Apex exporters body, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) has said that Goods and Services Tax (GST) is one of the biggest taxation reforms in India and is a comprehensive tax levy on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services at a National level. GST is all set to integrate the state economies and boost overall Growth.
EPCH has organized a stakeholders consultation meet in EPCH House, New Delhi recently, wherein representatives of Industry Associations and exporters gathered to discuss the implications of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on handicrafts sector.
EPCH has engaged the services leading Tax Consultant of national repute having expertise on GST matters to prepare a petition on behalf of handicrafts exporters to be submitted the GST Council, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India. A similar petition is also being forwarded through various state Govts to the Mninistry of Finance, Govt. of India so that the interests of handicrafts sector can be safeguarded. A meeting with Hon’ble Union Finance Minister and other senior Govt. officials is likely to be held shortly wherein the petition will be submitted.
Members of EPCH have also decided to approach the finance minister of their respective state governments as they are members of the GST council. It would be an additional help to highlight the issues concerning GST with respect Handicrafts sector.
Major issues of handicrafts sector which the exporter apprehend will have adverse impact on their business are as under:-
- Handicrafts sector to be exempt from the purview of GST
- Blocking of Working capital to be addressed, in case handicrafts sector not exempted, will result in high cost of capital
- Merchant exporter to be allowed procure goods without paying taxes
- Job workers procedure to be clarified
- Refund procedure to be simplified
- Utilization of duty credit scrip not to be restricted only to payment of customs duty
- Duty Drawback rate to factor increased tax cost on procurements of input material
The exports of handicrafts during the first six months of 2016-17 are Rs. 13005.35 crores registering a growth of 18.28% over the same period last year. The Handicrafts exports during the year 2015-16 were Rs. 21457.91 crores with overall 6.85% increase in comparison to last year.