The implementation of GST on stone has caused a stir in the Industry all over the company. It is protesting on it. The Tandur stone industry in Telangana has been hit very hard because Tandur stone which was taxed at 5 per cent previously and has gone up to 28 per cent under the GST.
While rich and upper middle class home buyers use vitrified tiles or marble, the less prosperous families use Tandur stones, also known as Shabad stone, for houses. Unpolished Tandur stone costs around Rs 4 per square feet at the quarry and the polished slab costs around Rs 14 per in the market. Tandur stones are used by the poorest of poor, and are put in the same slab of 28 per cent as marble slabs and vitrified tiles.
In Rajsamand, Rajasthan around 800 marble processors, traders and polishers joined in a massive rally to protest against the high GST rate imposed on marble commodities. Udaipur and Rajsamand, are the largest marble mandis in the country, but has been suffering huge losses after receiving threat from vitrified tiles from China since a decade. Rallies were undertaken in 22 districts of the state where the marble and granite mining and processing is carried out.
Now, with GST at 28% from the current rate of 5% under the new indirect tax regime, marble industry is sure to meet its end, according to the traders. The industry is labour intensive. Most of the units including quarries and processing houses are manual and thus huge work force is employed in them. In the entire state, around 10 lakh labourers are employed in this industry.
In Kishangarh, the shutdown called by the marble industry to protest against the imposition of 28% GST, a huge jump from 5% tax regime has cost the industry dearly. Kishangarh is considered to be Asia's biggest marble producing area. The traders did not sale even one square-foot of marble for over two weeks after the imposition of GST. With no business being conducted, the government has also lost out on Rs 15 crore in revenue.
There are about 700 marble slab and tile producing and 300 granite producing units in Kishangarh, which provide employment to about 50,000 workers. After 28% GST was imposed, thousands of daily-wage workers, mostly migrant labourers from other part of Rajasthan and from other states, have been rendered jobless. Many have returned to their native states. More than 400 truckloads of marble used to be transported from Kishangarh to different parts of the country every day. After the shut down not a single truck went out of the city. This had an adverse effect on the transport industry also.