Budget Wishlist | Extend import duty regime on cement for a year: realty sector

Budget Wishlist | Extend import duty regime on cement for a year: realty sector
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First Published: Tue, Feb 19 2008. 04 21 PM IST

Updated: Tue, Feb 19 2008. 04 21 PM IST
New Delhi: This has been mentioned before on this website, but the Builders Association of India (BAI) has put a number to it. The real estate industry is estimated to be the largest employer in the country after agriculture, with around 18 million people on its rolls.
BAI, which has more than 12,000 mmembers from the real estate industry in 92 centres across the country, also says that the sector’s share of total employment doubled from 2.8% in 1983 to 5.4% in 2004-05.
The association adds that the sector has posted the highest employment growth rate in the past two decades and is likely to create an additional 2 million employment opportunities during the 11th Five-Year Plan period.
BAI recognises the criticality of this sector (including infrastructure development) in driving 9% economic growth and mentions that the 11th plan has earmarked as much as Rs20,00,000 crore for it.
In its pre-Budget memorandum to the Finance Ministry, the association has sought a series of incentives and other announcements that embrace not just real estate, but also other sectors such as steel, cement and construction equipment.
Some of the key demands of the sector are:
• Alteration of existing customs duty structure on imported steel bars and rods; duty should be fixed at 5% without levy of special additional duty and countervailing duty
• Extension of existing structure of import duty, countervailing duty and special duty on cement for another year, to discourage domestic manufacturers from hiking prices
• Project exporters who have executed projects abroad to be allowed to import equipment purchased abroad at 5% duty instead of current 50%
• Scrap 2% TDS on construction companies as margins are wafer thin at 4-5%. Allow companies to pay advance tax instead
Some of the other recommendations in BAI’s pre-Budget memoramdum are also encapsulated in the wishlists of real estate companies such as Omaxe Ltd, SVP Group, Parshvnath Group and Era Constructions.
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First Published: Tue, Feb 19 2008. 04 21 PM IST