Hyderabad: Tandur limestone, popularly known as Shabad stone, which is considered as poor man’s marble, has got a major tax relief from the Centre. With the constant pressure from the Telangana government, the Union government reduced GST on the stone from 28 per cent to 18 per cent rescuing the stone industry as well as the poor, who mostly use it for flooring purpose.
The GST Council, at its 22nd meeting held in New Delhi on Friday, accepted the Telangana government’s long-pending demand to reduce GST on quality limestone mostly available in Rangareddy district.
The demand for stone is high in Telangana and, also in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Stones worth more than Rs 200 crore are being exported to various parts of the country from Telangana annually. The stone is being used in the housing schemes for the poor launched by state and central governments in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Principal Secretary to Commercial Taxes department Somesh Kumar said that the limestone industry spread in Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar districts would also get a big relief with immediate effect because of the Centre’s decision to slash GST.
The demand to reduce the GST on granite is also under the active consideration of the Centre. The GST council may take a decision on lowering tax burden on granite at its next meeting scheduled to be held on November 9 and 10 in Guwahati. Earlier, only 2 per cent of tax was levied on the finished and polished granite while the raw granite attracted 14.5 per cent tax.
With the imposition of 28 per cent of GST on the polished granite, the sales hit rock bottom during the last three months. There are around 400 granite-polishing units and 300 granite quarries in Khammam and parts of Karimnagar districts. More than 50 per cent of the quarries were already shut due to sudden fall in exports to China.
Source: By Patan Afzal Babu | THE HANS INDIA