Your devotion to the Ganapati is likely to be tested this year, in monetary terms. Idol makers from across Maharashtra have written to the state government, requesting it to abolish the recent hike in the tax on plaster of Paris (POP) from five per cent to 12 per cent.
Artists claim that with the hike in tax ahead of the festive season, idols are bound to get expensive by almost 10 per cent to 50 per cent. “Twelve per cent hike is too much. The cost of idols will go up by almost 50 per cent.
We have written to the chief minister, requesting him to repeal the newly increased tax on POP, especially for idol makers, whose livelihoods depend on sculpting,” said Narendra Dahibawkar, secretary of the Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (coordination committee of all Ganesh mandals).
Echoing Dahibawkar’s sentiments, Vijay Khatu, a renowned idol maker, said, “Our idols have already been sculpted. This last minute hike by the government is wrong.
We will have no choice but to increase our prices. In a state like Maharashtra, POP should be made easily available, as Ganeshotsav is celebrated on a large-scale. An idol, that was available for Rs 1,000 last year, will now cost around Rs 1,500.”
Did you know?
As per BMC’s statistics, around 2.5 lakh Ganesh idols (medium-sized) are sold in Mumbai every year
Idols cost between Rs 500 and Rs 15,000
There are over 30 registered idol makers in the city
While 40 per cent of the idols are sculpted in the city itself, others are ordered from Pen, Pune, Nashik, Ratnagiri and Gujarat