July 22, 2019
Manas Bhunia makes a Special Mention on the plight of poor mat makers due to GST
Sir, mat stick is an agricultural product. Lakhs of people in different States, majority of whom are in West Bengal, have been growing agricultural mat stick on their own lands. After preparation of the mat sticks, people, mostly women from the age group of 12 to 80 years, prepare mats of different qualities. The prepared mats are sold to businessmen in rural markets in different districts. Many unemployed youths are engaged in selling these mats, be it in the district headquarters or in the cities, to earn their livelihoods. Fifty-two per cent of the natural agricultural mats are produced in Sabong block in the district of Paschim Medinipur in West Bengal.
The Central Government and the GST Council have imposed a GST of 5 per cent on finished mat, which comes to the market for sale. This has created tremendous financial strains on the selling of mats, affecting artisans and mat stick growers. The 5 per cent GST imposed on mat should be withdrawn for the benefit of the poor growers, the mat artisans and the poor mat traders.
Thank you, Sir.