The Indian cement industry is calling for the government to bring value added tax (VAT) on cement on a par with other building materials such as steel in the Budget.
It also said that it should scrap import duty on coal, gypsum and other fuels.
However, ACC LtdManaging Director Sumit Banerjee stated that in relation of cement compared to other building materials, there is some persistent bias.
This includes equalising the rate of VAT on cement to that on steel and other building materials while steel attracts 4 per cent VAT, for cement it is as high as 12.5 per cent.
As both the materials are used for construction, cement industry players argue that cement should be given a level-playing field to that of steel.
The tax on cement is the highest among the items required for building infrastructure.
The total government levies and taxes on cement constitute 60 per cent or more of the ex-factory price.
Levies and taxes on cement in India are far higher than most of the other countries in the Asia-Pacific Region where the average tax is just 11.4 per cent.
The highest levy of 20 per cent is in Sri Lanka.
On the other hand, Banerjee added that the import duty on coal, gypsum and other fuels should be removed and customs be levied on cement imports to India.