Kamlesh Patel, chairman and managing director of Gujarat-based Asian Granito India Ltd has his wishlist ready for the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman:
1. 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’.
2. To boost exports of the Indian tiles, it is imperative that the incentive on the 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.
3. 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 the GST regime at the earliest.
4. The economy is going through a phase of low GDP growth, the 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.