“Cement is one of the most essential commodities for all infrastructure and construction activities and a great barometer for the health of the economy. To boost growth, in the forthcoming Budget, we hope to see a relaxation in income tax rates, clarity on GST and policies to standardize construction materials. We are hopeful that the situation for core sectors, including cement, will stabilize and bounce back to break out of the subdued growth, by 4QFY17.
While we are optimistic about the good work the current government has done, we are yet to see several of these novel initiatives gain critical mass; ‘Make in India’ being one of them. The ‘Make in India’ vision of the government falls short when it comes to the cement sector. Ironically while our neighbouring countries impose duties on cement exports from India, we allow free imports. Moreover, to compound matters, duties are charged on raw material imports. We trust this disparity would be addressed by the Finance Minister.”