The Indian Ministry of Textiles will soon take up the issue of reducing the tax rate of Kashmiri handicrafts under the goods and services tax (GST) with the GST Council, Shantamanu, Development Commissioner, handicrafts, in the Ministry told a seminar on Kashmiri art and craft organised by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently.

Local artisans told Shantamanu that the 12 per cent GST on handicrafts has badly affected the trade, according to a report. The issue of refund of GST on raw-material for handicrafts will be addressed, he said.

To boost the shawls and carpet industry, raw material banks for pashmina and silk will be encouraged, he said. A study-group will be formed to undertake a survey on new and promising export markets for the Kashmir handicrafts.