My art is as much ‘handmade’ as that of an artisan: Irrfan Khan

Jan 6, 2018

Irrfan Khan Adds voice to demand for zero tax on handmade products

“I am an actor. The product I make is as much handmade as what an artisan makes. I act by using my own hands, feet, emotions and speech. In this sense, people who make things out of their hands are my brothers and sisters,” said noted actor Irrfan Khan, expressing his solidarity with the ongoing Tax-Denial Satyagraha by Grama Seva Sangha, demanding zero tax on handmade products.

“I am an Indian Muslim, but unlike me, most Indian Muslims are from artisan class. They are mostly poor,” he said. He said the community of people who make products with their hands, with no or minimal use of machinery, are bound together without communal divide. He emphasised the need to ‘get better price for the handmade products and erase exploitation’.

The panel of speakers at the symposium, including noted film maker M.S. Sathyu and theatre and social activist Prasanna, urged the GST Council to fix zero tax on all handmade products, besides asking the State and Central governments to take measures to get a better price for handmade products.Video Player is loading.

The symposium demanded setting up of a separate ministry for handmade products with budgetary allocation equivalent to that of the population size, besides declaring any product that uses not less than two-thirds of the hand process and not more than one-third of machine process, be treated as handmade.

Renowned filmmaker M.S. Sathyu questioned the logic behind theatre being taxed 18% GST when artistes rarely make any money and find it difficult to survive. Theatre and social activist Prasanna described handmade system as the ‘enterprise of the future’ that can address the prevailing environmental, economic and social concerns.

courtesy The Hindu

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