The kite-flying season has arrived in Rajasthan, but there are not enough kite buyers in the market. Kite traders blame the Goods and Service Tax (GST) for their “low” business, saying that the new tax had increased the kite prices.
“Earlier there was no tax on finished kites, but now there is 5% GST on it,” said Mangilal, a leading kite trader of Kota. The cost of raw material, including kite paper, has also increased under the GST. The tax on kite paper has increased from 5% to 12%, thus adding to the cost further.
A large quantity of kites is imported in Rajasthan from Agra, Bareilly and Ahmedabad cities.
The cost of saddi (cotton thread) and charkhi (a drum like article around which the thread is entwined), two other items used in kite-flying, has also increased due to the new tax. GST on charkhi and saddi is 18% and 5% respectively.
dropped by around 40%. “Earlier, 100 kites used to cost around ₹70, but the same number of kites now cost ₹90,” he said. The kite traders are still to understand the complexities of the GST, as the business comes under the unorganised sector.
As a result of the high costs of kites, kite-flyers are buying lesser kites. “I am buying lesser kites and thread this Sakranti because the costs are very high,” said Abhishek Sharma.
Makar Sakranti will be celebrated in Kota and other parts of Rajasthan on Monday. Kite-flying is seen as an integral part of the celebrations.