UP cement traders demand cut in GST rate; hike in e-way bill threshold

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Uttar Pradesh cement traders have demanded that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on cement be cut from existing 28% to 18% to boost the housing sector by making the commodity more affordable.

UP Cement Dealers Association (UPCDA) has written to GST Council to cut the tax rate with immediate effect. Besides, it has also demanded that the newly introduced e-way bill threshold be hiked from Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000 to allow easy movement of goods. 

 

These resolutions were passed at an emergency meeting of UPCDA at Kanpur on Friday, Association president Nikhilesh Dubey said. Ruing that cement, which attracted sales tax of 18%, witnessed hike by 10% under GST to 28%, he underlined that highest GST slab for cement was unjustifiable was it is not a luxury item. 

The radical taxation reform of GST, which was implemented in July 2017, has completed a year of its implementation with the Centre claiming robust tax revenue owing to low tax evasion and expanding tax net.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s theme of housing for all, UPCDA has urged the GST Council to contribute towards the cause by making cement more affordable for the poor people with lower tax slab.

Dubey further claimed that cement traders based in far flung areas of the state were still not computer and mobile phone savvy to comply with the stringent and complex e-way procedures and lacked resources to employ a hand for this purpose. The association has about 800 members across different districts in UP.

“Cement is used in government and public sector projects apart from building roads in the rural areas. The steep cost of cement due to higher taxation also hampers the speed of projects,” he underlined. 

Meanwhile, the Association would wait for the next GST Council meeting and the decision taken therein with regards to their demand, so as to chalk out its future course of action accordingly. Dubey even warned that the cement traders would gear up for launching a stir in case the tax rate was not lowered.

Last year, when the Yogi Adityanath government had imposed blanket ban on illegal mining in UP, the cement traders had claimed they had been hit hard, since real estate activity had almost come to a standstill following acute shortage of building materials like sand, ‘maurang’, gravel etc.

Illegal mining had come under the scanner after the Allahabad High Court order banned mining of sand and ‘maurang’ from river beds in UP. Illegal mining has been a major problem in the state for the past several years, with excessive mining even leading to change in course of river in several cases. The HC order had also banned transport of such mineral from other states.

Source - https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/up-cement-traders-demand-gst-rate-cut-to-18-hike-in-e-way-bill-threshold-118070800333_1.html

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