GST effect: Jail shop stops sale of products made by inmates
After implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the jail authorities do not have “clarity over the pricing issues” of the products made by the inmates.
After seven months of its operation, Aashayein — the shop selling products made by the Jaipur Central Jail inmates — has been closed temporarily. Reason: After implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the jail authorities do not have “clarity over the pricing issues” of the products made by the inmates.
“At present, there’s not much clarity over the pricing issues of the products after the implementation of GST. We are waiting to get more information on the issue before resuming the sales,” director general of police (prisons) Ajit Singh told HT.
The Aashayein showroom in the Jaipur central jail showcases a large array of products, both utility items as well as art works, which are made by the prisoners during their stay in the jail. According to the police, in the last six months, the shop registered a sale of more than ₹5 lakh, before it was closed due to the confusion over GST.
The jail officials said that it was not clear that products made by inmates fall under which category. Under the GST, various tax rates have been fixed for different categories of goods and services. “The products sold at the jail shop are not made by any factory and these are made by prisoners. That’s why we are not sure whether we come under GST or not,” said Singh.
The money raised from the sale of products at the jail shop is spent on the welfare of prisoners. They also get wages for making the products. “We will resume the sale once we get some clarity about GST and the tax rates levied on the products, if we come under it,” said Singh.
Aashayein, the first-of-its-kind initiative in the state, was inaugurated in January this year.