The State IT, handloom and textile minister, has strongly opposed the GST hike proposed on the textile industry. He demanded the central government to withdraw the GST Council’s proposal to increase the existing 5 per cent tax to 12 per cent and exempt handloom products from GST. The GST Council on May 18, 2017 was asked to implement the decision not to levy tax on handlooms. He expressed concern that the additional tax burden would severely damage the industry, which was already suffering with the corona, and affect the survival of the industry as a whole. In a letter to the Union Minister on Sunday, he asked that the existing GST slab of Rs 20 lakh on the handloom and power loom industry be increased to Rs 50 lakh if the tax burden is to be increased. Not only will the slab change benefit millions of weavers, but the tax loss to the government will also be negligible.
He said that a seven per cent increase in the GST was unjustified on the textile industry, which has been in dire straits for two years with Corona. He pointed out that the textile and handloom sector, which employs the largest number of people after agriculture in the country, needs to be supported in the current crisis and it is not appropriate to impose an additional burden. There had never been a tax on handloom products in the history of the country, adding that the GST introduced by the BJP government was the first time that a 5 per cent tax had been levied and now it was a heinous increase of another seven per cent. He said the handloom workers were deeply concerned over the GST hike at a time when the handloom sector in Telangana was making goodp progress.