Bhopal: GST hits artisans, weavers hard

Staff ReporterUpdated:Thursday, May 30, 2019, 05:12 AM IST
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Bhopal: Goods and Services Tax (GST) has hit the sale of artisans and weavers who displayed their handloom and handicraft items in an exhibition-cum-sale ‘Poompuhar’ at Gauhar Mahal.

60-year-old Mohammed Asif who hails from Jaipur and makes lah bangles, says, “There is huge impact of GST in our business. Our sales are down by 50 per cent. Earlier, there was no tax on lah bangles but now it is 5 per cent. Abhi hum notebandi ka maar jhel paa rahe the ki GST ka aa gaya (Still we couldn’t overcome from notebandi, now the burden of GST came on us…’. Asif further says “ What can be do? Anyhow we have to sell our products whether we get profit or not. We are artisans and we sell our art for running our home. We are selling our items in same price but giving 20 per cent GST to organiser.

Earlier we used to sell of Rs 50,000 but now it is limited to 20 to 25 thousand.”

“Sale is quite less than earlier due to GST. Now, government is charging 12 per cent GST on wooden items earlier it was not so. Supposed a wooden items earlier priced at Rs 250 will now be priced at Rs 300. But costumers are not ready to purchase if we tell hiked price. We could sell our product of Rs 2100 in five days.” said Rafique Ahmed who hails from Saharanpur , UP and displayed here some wooden items including toys, kitchen and decorative items . Lalit Jha, a vendor from Bihar says “There is big impact of GST on our sell. It is down 25 per cent. We have been participating in the fair for five years and 15 per cent customer is less in comparison to last year. However, three we are hoping for best in coming Saturday and Sunday.

We have been participating in the fair for five years and selling our handicraft items papier-mâché and madhubani painting. Now government has charged 12 per cent GST on these items.”

“Bahot jayada asar pada hai. We booked our products two months ago at that we didn’t know about GST. After coming here we are said to pay 5 per cent GST and the prices are varying for different products. We are also getting huge problem of transportation. Transporters is not ready to take goods with GST no,” said Abdullah who belongs to Varanasi who represents third generation of their family and displayed here Banarasi saris. He further says, “ Last year we sold out product of one lakh but this hardly 20 thousand. I think, tax should not be on handloom products and we are fighting for this. In our city, all weavers are on strike from then GST roll-out.”

Praveen Kumar who displayed Tanjore paintings says, “ Yes, it’s impact is lot. We have product of 2 to 7 lakh but we are hardly able to sell two small paintings of Rs 20 lakhs. Last we sold out of product 5 lakhs. We are hoping for good in rest four days.”

“ GST is good but nobody knows about the tax neither shopkeepers nor people. Also we are getting transportation problem. It is also fact that the rate of any products will be up by 15 per cent due to GST,” says Sachin Agrawal, a vendor from Bhopal. “ We have been organising the exhibition for past 12 years but this year sell is dull due to GST. Oue sales are down by 20 per cent.” said organiser of the fair.

The fair is being organised Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited, with the brand name of “Poompuhar’” an undertaking of the Government of Tamil Nadu has displayed a wide range of craft objects particularly from Tamil Nadu and it began from July 8 and will remain open for visitors till July 17 from 11am to 10 pm.

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