The Council for Leather Exports (CLE) has sought reduction of GST rate to 12 per on footwear priced above Rs 1,000, to boost manufacturing and exports. GST rate on footwear worth up to Rs 1,000 was reduced to five per cent, while those above this value still attract a GST rate of 18 per cent.
“Footwear is not a luxury item and we urge the government to cut the GST rate on this to 12 per cent,” CLE Chairman P R Aqeel Ahmed told PTI. As the sector holds huge potential both for manufacturing and exports, “we need support from the government,” he said. Talking about the refund of GST, Ahmed said CLE is organising a series of awareness and outreach programmes at all the leather clusters in the country.
He said the refund of GST duties is happening on time and is helping both big and small exporters to further take new orders from global buyers. Currently, exports of leather and its products stand at USD 6 billion. Major export destinations include Europe and the US. Last year, the commerce minister announced a Rs 2,600 crore package for the leather sector to boost exports. The sector employs about 42 lakh people.