25.10.2022: K.T. Rama Rao launches online petition against GST on handloom

A day after launching a postcard campaign, Textiles Minister K.T. Rama Rao started an online petition campaign, on Sunday, appealing the Union government to remove GST on handloom products to protect the interests of weavers and the country’s cultural heritage.

Stating that India is home to almost 5 million handloom workers who produce unique fabrics without the help of machines, Mr. Rama Rao said that most of the workers of the highly decentralised and rural-based handloom industry are women.

On Saturday, he addressed a postcard to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to lift the 5% GST on handloom fabrics. He started the online petition on change.org on Sunday

In a post on a social media platform about the petition, Mr. Rama Rao appealed to people to join hands for the noble cause. “GST on handloom is a direct threat to millions of people who earn their livelihood from the handloom sector. Weavers across the country unanimously oppose taxes on handloom, since it has resulted in huge losses, forcing many to leave the traditional craft,” he said.

He stated that handloom is one of the largest unorganised sectors and formed an integral part of rural and semi-rural livelihoods. However, it was reeling under the impact of COVID and slapping GST on it has sounded a death knell on the sector,” the Minister said. He also said that for the first time after Independence, tax was levied on handloom fabrics.

Meanwhile, MLC K. Kavitha also joined the postcard campaign on Sunday by addressing a postcard to the Prime Minister requesting lifting of GST on handloom. “Our handloom industry is a living testimony to our rich heritage and culture, celebrating our diversity. Instead of promoting it, GST is against the growth of the nation,” she said.

Source: The Hindu 

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