GST may hit tribal welfare

Tribals and forest-dependent communities across the country may lose a significant share of the revenue earmarked for their community welfare activities to the Goods and Service Tax regime (GST).

The revenue from the not-for-profit souvenir shops and other ecotourism facilities offered by these vulnerable communities in tiger reserves and protected areas may come under the GST, it is apprehended.

While 50% of the revenue generated from these activities is used for community welfare activities, the rest is used for the management of protected areas. It is estimated that there are around 50 lakh people, including tribals, among those living in the fringe areas of the 50 tiger reserves of the country. Almost all protected areas of the country have ecotourism programmes.

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Courtesy: The Hindu