STORY: Kite traders, manufacturers, and sellers, in western India are facing difficult times ahead of nationwide kite festival of Makar Sankranti because of complications in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and low cost Chinese products killing the competition in the market.
Kites, that come under “other paper, paperboard, cellulose wading, cut to size or shape” category of GST, were earlier in 12 percent slab, but after several protests it was shifted to the five percent section. However, it is still not enough for the traders, who are incurring losses and decreased sales.
A kite maker, Haji Abdul Muneer Khan, said that the total taxes on one thousands kites were more than his total earnings on the same. The businessman claimed that earlier this line of work was free from any tax, but later they started paying VAT and now they are bound to pay GST.
Unlike many other festive businesses, kites are not in organized sector in India and neither do they hold much religious significance. With the implementation of GST and addition of taxes on raw material and kite selling, the industry is dying a slow death.