HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao requested the Central government to exempt works covered under Beedi industry, granite industry, irrigation and drinking water works from Goods and Services Tax (GST). In separate letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday, the Chief Minister expressed concern over the Beedi industry.
Several thousand workers eke out a living from the Beedi industry and imposing excess taxes on it would adversely effect the interests of Beedi workers, Rao said in the letter. The CM also added that there are about 2,000 granite processing units which provide direct employment to around two lakh people and around five lakh people get indirect employment.
Rao, in the letters, said that the GST Council has proposed 12 per cent GST on granite and marble raw blocks and 28 per cent on finished products.“Such high rates of GST will have a detrimental effect on demand and growth of granite/marble industry, negative impact on trade and reduce the employment potentially leading to closing down of most of the units in the state,” K Chandrasekhar Rao said.
Requesting the Prime Minister and Finance minister to see that GST on granite — both raw and finished products — be reduced to 12 per cent, he said that the proposed GST on irrigation and drinking water would increase the cost of the projects substantially.
Considering that the irrigation and drinking water projects are for larger public welfare, it would be appropriate to bring them under exempted category or at least put them in the lower GST slab of 5 per cent, Rao wrote.
The Chief Minister, however, congratulated the Central government for steering the Goods and Services Tax from the conceptual stage to the implementation stage through consensus of all the states across the country in the spirit of cooperative federalism.