Budget Expectations from the Tiles & Sanitary ware Industry
By Kamlesh Patel, Chairman and Managing Director, Asian Granito India Ltd
“Tiles and Sanitaryware should be brought in the 12% GST slab from 18% currently as it is no more a luxury item. Making the tiles and sanitaryware more affordable will help the industry to grow faster and thus will help in fulfilling the Government vision of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Make in India and Housing for All by 2022.
To boost exports of Indian tiles, it is imperative that the incentive on export of tiles should be reviewed and increased so that Indian exporters remain competitive in the World market and the adverse effect of the anti-dumping duty imposed by the Gulf countries be minimised.
Natural gas is one of the cleanest and most efficient fuels and is the major cost component for the tile industry with 18-20% of the total cost. Presently, natural gas is kept out of GST regime and is left subject to different VAT rates of the states. Keeping natural gas outside the ambit of GST is putting the industry using natural gas at a disadvantage and we expect that it should be brought under GST regime at the earliest.
The economy is going through a phase of low GDP growth, Finance Minister should adopt softer interest rates to encourage new investment and expedite Capex cycle aiming at generating more employment opportunities and roll out tax benefits for individual taxpayers so consumption can also get a boost.
Tiles industry in India is estimated at around Rs. 40,000 crore and growing at healthy single-digit employing over 6 lakh people in direct and indirect employment. Over 70% of the Indian ceramic industry production comes from the Morbi and the industry there has gone through a couple of years of demand slack, cost increase due to shifting from coal gasifiers to gas and the heavy anti-dumping duty imposed by Gulf countries recently. GCC countries account for 35-40% of the Rs. 12,000 crore export from Morbi.
Indian Ceramic industry has now moved to green and environment complaint industry and will continue to play an important role in the growth engine of the country and aim for global leadership in the industry and success of ‘Make in India’.”