Belying expectations, the GST rate for the cement industry continued to be pegged at 28% even after the Guwahati meeting of the GST Council.
S Chouksey, President, Cement Manufacturers’ Association, said in a statement, “The Indian cement industry finds itself retained in the 28% GST bracket, along with luxury items such as washing machines and air conditioners.”
“This is a disappointment for the entire industry as cement is integral to the government’s key schemes such as Housing for All, Swachch Bharat and building of other infrastructure projects that are fundamental for building an India for the future,” added Chouksey.
A few days ago, the Finance Minster had hinted on reducing the number of products which come under tax slab of 28%. The cement industry was too expecting a tax cut.
“Moreover, our industry has the ability to contribute immensely towards employment and GDP growth, and a rationalisation in the tax rate on cement would have not only lifted this industry out from the depression phase it is passing through but would have sent positive signals of government’s intent to bring back the economy to faster pace of growth,” Chouksey said.
Since the announcement of GST, the rates of over 100 items have been brought down in the previous meetings of the council. This trend continued in the Guwahati meeting as well, but did not touch the cement and paint rates, which continued to be at 28%.