The Union Ministry of Textiles will be taking up the issue of bringing down tax rate of Kashmiri handicrafts under Goods and Services Tax (GST) with the GST Council soon, said Shantamanu, Development Commissioner Handicrafts, Union ministry of textiles.
Addressing a seminar on Kashmir art and craft organised by Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday, Shantamanu highlighted various central government schemes aimed at revival of Kashmiri handicrafts. He was informed by local artisans that presently levied 12 per cent GST on handicrafts has affected this trade badly resulting in its further decline.
“The issue of GST on handicrafts is lying with the GST Council. Although the last state finance minister had pressed for bringing down GST rates on Kashmir handicrafts but a lot more needs to be done The concerned adviser to the Governor must take it up with the Council in the next meeting. I will also put it across through our ministry to the GST council,” said Shantamanu. The development commissioner of Ministry of Textiles while interacting with local artisans and exporters said that the issue of refund of GST on raw-material for handicrafts which has not been made by the government to the artisans will be addressed.
Shantamanu said in order to provide a boost to shawls and carpet industry, raw material bank for pashmina and silk which has seen a decline in the Valley, will be soon enhanced. “I have been told by many artisans here that raw material bank has not been successful due to lackluster policies. We will be exploring newer raw material markets in the country and enhancing the raw material bank here,” Shantamanu said.
While responding to queries from exporters about the impact on Kashmir art due to prevailing downturn in European markets, Shantamanu said a study-group will be formed to undertake a survey on new and promising export markets for the Kashmir handicrafts. “ Apart from CEPC reports on emerging markets for handicrafts we don’t have many details of potential markets. Soon we will form a study group to identify potential markets for which exporters have an important role to play,” Shantamanu said.