HYDERABAD: Even as the 21st meeting of the GST Council was being held in the city on Saturday, protests were staged by activisits of the left parties and agricultural traders near the venue, the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC), of meeting. Activists of the left parties organised protests near the HICC, where the GST Council meeting was being held. The protesters included activists of the CPM and CPI, besides members from the agricultural sector and the handloom sector.
Led by CPI leader K Narayana, slogan-shouting Left activists were stopped by the police when they were walking towards the venue. Later, they were whisked away in a van. More than 200 people, who staged a protest, while the GST council meeting was ongoing were taken into preventive custody by the police. However, they were all released after 7.30 pm. CPI senior leader Narayana said common man should be given relief under the new tax regime. Some other Left leaders said the GST imposed on weavers should be removed.
Members from the handloom sector said this was the first time that handmade goods had come under a tax regime. The decision to include handmade goods under the same tax regime as machine-made ones will threaten the livelihoods of over one crore families of which, 50 per cent are women, they pointed.They stated that the costs of handwoven products will rise by at least 10 per cent. They demanded that handloom, handicrafts and other handmade goods should be exempted from this tax system. Agricultural traders, on the other hand, demanded that raisins, coriander seeds and dried red chillies should not be taxed. In a representation to the finance minister, they stated that while all agricultural commodities are in the zero tax budget, the above mentioned products attract a 5 per cent GST.
RCJS- AP and TS protest GST on handloom
Hyderabad: Opposing the GST burden that is squashing the handloom sector, a protest meeting was held at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram here on Saturday by Rashtra Chenetha Jana Samakhya (RCJS- AP and Telangana) and Federation of Handloom Organisations on imposition of GST on Handlooms. Stating that the GST on handlooms as of today is putting additional burden of 5% to 12% tax on varied operations of the handloom weaving, the participants decided to undertake a “tax denial satyagraha” seeking zero GST on handmade products and handlooms to save the traditional arts and crafts in cottage industry, which are highlighted as the symbols of heritage and culture by the government of India.
“GST has brought the Khadi, handloom and handicrafts under tax for the first time in the independent India,” said Macharla Mohan Rao of RCJS. The anti GST movement was aimed at protecting the Swadeshi and ‘make in India’ mission, which is critical for the sustainability of millions in India, he added. Prasanna, a Khadi activist, said GST policy had removed Anti-Dumping Duty on imported goods making the imported silk from China silk much cheaper compared to locally-produced silk.