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Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Kalraj Mishra today expressed hope that khadi products will be exempted from the GST which came into effect from July 1. Different khadi and village industries products attract GST of 5-12 per cent. Addressing a meeting of khadi institutions here, Mishra said that for the larger interest of weavers and spinners associated to khadi industry, the GST panel had started analysing the pros and cons of the new tax on various products. "Even the Finance Minister had assured me to give a GST exemption for the financial development of otherwise economically backward lot of weavers and spinners," he said. Further, the minister stressed upon organising exhibitions at different Embassies and High Commissions to make khadi a global brand. Expressing concern over decreasing numbers of artisans in the khadi sector, Minister of State for MSME Giriraj Singh said that all-round development of the sector would remain a mirage, without providing a sustainable economic growth to the artisans. No one knows the reason that how the number of artisans came down from 11 lakh in 1950 to nearly 2 lakh at present, he said. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said the time has come to work for the enhancement of their wages. "Lower wages with respect to other organisations, not only blow down the morale of our adroit workers, rather it also has stopped paving ways for the new generation of entrepreneurs in this particular segment," Saxena said. On the non-profitable and dormant assets of Khadi institutions, he said a plan was being chalked out to make the optimum uses of those assets. "We need to either revamp or dispose off these assets - to deposit our long-pending liabilities as loans from different institutions," he added.
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