GST effect: Sculptors tensed over business

NEW DELHI: The ambiguity about tax on statues and pictures of religious deities under the new under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has become a cause for concern for sculptors.

Statues

Although religious deities, pictures and material used for religious ceremonies are not taxable under VAT and excise duty, there is some confusion about such exemption in the GST.

Satya Narayan Pande, director, Adi Gaur Brahmin (Moorti Kalakar) Sanstha, himself is not very clear about the issue as he says, “There is no mention of religious statues under the GST tax slab, however, according to the code number 97, it is under the tax slab of 12 per cent.”

Expressing his apprehensions, Pande says if the GST is applied on such goods, it will adversely affect the business, especially in the international market.

“Under GST, the price of such things is bound increase and we fear that the potential buyers will go for Chinese made items online,” Pande added. He said that if the sculptors do not register for GST and do not have TIN numbers, financial institutions and banks will also not provide loans to them for their businesses.

“90 per cent of sculptors are poor and uneducated. Implementation of tax on them will not only affect their art but also hit their day-to-day lives,” said Radheshyam Sharma, director, Moorti Kala Laghu Udyog Mandal.

According to current laws, statues of religious identities are exempted from VAT and Excise Duty, which makes the cost as well as the price affordable. The religious pictures along with religious trusts and temples have been exempted from GST.

LAW AT PRESENT

  • According to the laws applied currently, statues of religious identities are exempted from VAT and Excise Duty, which makes the cost as well as the price affordable. The religious pictures along with religious trusts and temples have been exempted from GST.
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