Hyderabad: Stating that imposing excess taxes on the beedi industry, as proposed in the upcoming goods and services tax (GST), will adversely affect the livelihood of workers, Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley asking them to exempt the industry from the GST.
Rao also wrote to them asking to bring granite and finished products under the 12 % GST slab, instead of the proposed 12 % on raw granite and 28 % tax on finished products. He mentioned that about 2,000 granite processing units in Telangana, in which about 200,000 people are directly employed and 500,000 indirectly.
The proposed GST rates will have a detrimental effect on the units, and also on the demand and growth of the granite/marble industry, wrote Rao. It will have a negative impact on trade, reducing the employment and might even lead to closing down of most units in Telangana, he wrote.
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Rao also cited massive infrastructure programmes like the Mission Bhagiratha drinking water project and other irrigation works taken up by the state government with huge investments that will be affected by the new proposed GST rates, as the costs are expected to increase substantially.
Considering that the irrigation and drinking water projects are for public welfare, Rao said that it would be appropriate to exempt or at least put these infrastructure projects in the lower GST slab of 5 %. The chief minister also congratulated the government of India for steering the GST from the conceptual stage to the implementation stage through the consensus of all states in India.