India’s cement firms are seeking a cut on excise duty and a ban on imports in the upcoming federal budget in an effort to reduce prices and protect manufacturers who have set up new capacities, officials said.
To meet rising demand and an anticipated spurt in the government’s infrastructure spending, cement companies have increased capacity and prices, but now fear rising prices will dent demand for local products and encourage imports.
"The industry is seeking an abatement on cement from the government. Cement is a bulk commodity with a high distribution cost and abatement will help bring down prices in the domestic market," HM Bangur, president of the Cement Manufacturer’s Association told Reuters.
The association is demanding a 55 per cent cut in excise duty on the commodity. Cement, apart from excise duty also attracts other taxes such as sales tax, royalty and cess on limestone, power tariff and cess on coal and gypsum.