Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday wrote to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, urging him to exempt handmade products from the Goods and Services Tax. He said his appeal is based on a representation from the Grand Seva Sangh, which has sought 0% GST on all handmade items that are manufactured and marketed by producer cooperative societies and their federations, PTI reported.

“I am writing to raise a very critical issue the GST Council should take note of and decide on a priority basis,” Siddaramaiah said in his letter, according to The Hindu Business Line. “Handmade products of various kinds are produced by millions of artisans and poor rural households in India. Imposition of the GST on such products has had an adverse effect on the livelihood of artisans.”

Siddaramaiah urged the GST Council to address the “very critical issue” at the next GST Council meet on November 9 in Guwahati. “The livelihood of artisans is at stake,” he wrote to Jaitley. “This would not only benefit a large segment of our rural population, but would also give a boost to rural employment and sustainability.”