India: CMA calls for lower tax on cement

India: CMA calls for lower tax on cement
Published: 24 December 2014


India’s Cement Manufacturers Association has urged the government to lower the overall tax on cement by 20-25 per cent.

In a pre-Budget representation, the industry body said despite being a core industry, overall taxes hover around 60 per cent, comparable with luxury goods while other key industries such as coal and steel are subject to considerably lower tax rates. Excise duty is levied at 12 per cent apart from an additional INR120/t, while duty on other core items is around five per cent.

The rate on cement may be brought down by 6-8 per cent without specific duty. Tax structure has to be simplified to either specific rate per tonne or ad valorem without relating to retail price, the body said.
Proposals include that abatement could be increased to 55 per cent from the present 30 per cent, customs duty on imported cement or the relief of customs duty on imported inputs such as limestone, gypsum, petcoke and packaging. The association has also asked the government to remove tyre chips used as fuel from the negative list of imports as it can be a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuel.N Srinivasan, vice-Chairman, India Cements, remarked that at the current tax levels, the price of a bag of cement should be over INR430 rather than the current INR370.