Cement manufacturers on Friday expressed disappointment over the GST council retaining cement in the highest slab of 28 per cent saying clubbing the construction material along with luxury item is "quite unfortunate".
The Cement Manufacturers Industry (CMA) said it was "disappointment" for the entire industry, which is integral to the government's key schemes such as housing for all, Swachh Bharat related constructions and building and other key infrastructure projects.
"The retention of the cement in the 28 per cent GST bracket, along with luxury items such as washing machines and air conditioners is quite unfortunate," said CMA President Shailendra Chouksey.
The GST Council today decided to reduce tax rate on a wide range of mass use items - from chewing gums to detergents -- to 18 per cent from current 28 per cent
It has retained cement along with paints in the 28 per cent tax bracket.
The industry was expecting to be put under the lesser slab of 18 per cent.
"Considering that our industry has the ability to contribute immensely towards employment and GDP growth it would have been appropriate to place it, at least, under the 18 per cent slab," he said.
The cement industry, which had witnessed a degrowth last year after a successive slow down from last 4-5 years, is expected to recover in the second half of this fiscal led by the government's spending on infrastructure projects.
"A rationalisation in the tax rate on cement would have not only lifted this Industry out from the depression phase it is passing through but would have sent positive signals of Governments intent to bring back Economy to faster pace of Growth rate." said Chouksey.