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Exempt handloom, powerloom products from GST: Minister

Minister for Textiles and Handlooms O. S. Manian on Saturday said that the State had sought exemption for handloom and powerloom products from the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Speaking to reporters after inaugurating a special showroom for selling handloom products in view of Deepavali here, Mr. Manian said Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had taken up the issue with the Central government.

The exemption was sought in view of protecting the interest of weavers.

Mr. Manian said 30% rebate would be extended to the handloom products at the showrooms across the State in view of former Chief Minister Annadurai birth anniversary and the Deepavali festival. The State government would bear the rebate on behalf of the customers.

Mr. Manian said the State government had taken a number of steps to promote handloom and khadi cloths.

Speaking at the function, he said there were 22 cooperative societies in Tiruchi region and they produced about Rs. 22 lakh worth of cloths mainly saris and dhoties per month.

Minister for Tourism Vellamandi N. Natarajan, Collector K. Rajamani and Tiruchi Member of Parliament P. Kumar were among those participated.

Earlier, speaking at Thanjavur, he said after a long wait of 15 years, the handloom weavers in the State were set to get the financial benefits of the Rebate Subsidy Scheme.

Speaking to the media after opening the State-level Handloom Exhibition organised by his department, Mr. Manian admitted that the rebate subsidy amount was not paid to the weavers in the State for 15 years.

As per current estimates, the Central and the State governments must equally contribute Rs. 40 crore each under the Rebate Subsidy Scheme to the weavers.

The Minister claimed that the Central Government did not extend its share for the past three years but has now assured that it would set apart funds during the current fiscal.

The State Government for its part has also come forward to extend the benefits of the Rebate Subsidy Scheme and was allotting Rs. 100 crore towards undertaking various welfare measures benefitting the handloom weavers.

The Textiles Minister claimed that the State Government has facilitated round-the-year work for the weavers by sanctioning work to ready 1.65 crore sarees and dhotis under the free saree, dhoties scheme.

That apart, the weavers have been given work to weave student uniforms. The expo will go on till October 14.


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