JK Government’s proposal to slash taxes for protecting small traders of the State prevailed in the recent Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council meet with the forum agreeing to substantial reduction of tax on handicrafts and walnut.
Conceding the demand of the traders involved in the Handicrafts sector of the State, J&K Government pleaded with the GST Council in its 21st meeting at Hyderabad recently to consider bringing down the tax rate on Handicrafts from 12% to 5%.
The Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu said the GST Council as well as the J&K Government accordingly issued a notification on September 15, announcing that the small dealers and workers who move handicraft goods from one state to another were exempted from registration under IGST Act.
“In case of other states, the threshold of handicraft turnover has been kept at Rs 10 lakh annually while in case of J&K, it has been put at Rs 20 lakh. The decision will benefit small handicraft traders who earn their livelihood by selling Paper Machie items, Carpets, Shawls and Willow Wicker items in other states,” Dr Drabu said.
The Finance Minister said these traders don’t have to register as casual traders, as per the GST law, which is the case with traders from other, special-category States, provided the aggregate value of their supplies doesn’t cross Rs 20 lakh in a financial year.
In another major announcement, the GST Council also brought down the rate of tax on Walnuts, which was originally kept at 12% to 5%. “J&K had requested the Council to bring it into five percent category and the Council agreed,” Dr Drabu said. The notification in this regard was issued on September 22.
The Council has also brought down the tax rate on Paper Machie and Willow Wicker from 12% to 5% on September 22. “All these decisions, which revolve around the ‘ease of doing business’, will immensely benefit the small traders in the State. With these, our major concerns regarding the Handicrafts sector and Walnut industry have been resolved,” the Finance Minister said.