Jalandhar: 5% GST on kilns leads to hike in brick prices
As per the state brick-kiln association, the rate is the highest in Jalandhar (Rs 4,300 - Rs 4,500), followed by Kapurthala (Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,200), and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,300).punjab Updated: Jul 29, 2017 12:51 IST
The 5% goods and service tax (GST) imposed on the brick-kiln industry has led to a hike in the rate of bricks, making it difficult for the common man to realise his dream of building a house. In Doaba, the average rate of 1,000 bricks is between Rs 4,000 and Rs 4,500.
This is the biggest annual increase in rates. At present, second-class bricks are available from Rs 2,700 to Rs 3,000 per 1,000 bricks with the rates of the variety being between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,300 last year.
According to the state brick-kiln association, the rate is the highest in Jalandhar (Rs 4,300 - Rs 4,500), followed by Kapurthala (Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,200), and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,300) and Hoshiarpur (Rs 4,200- Rs 4,400).
In Moga district, which has the maximum number of brick-kilns in the state, the rates have reached Rs 4,000.
LABOUR SHORTAGE AND RATE OF CLAY
The shortage of labour is also a reason behind the hike in prices.
“Labourers are not available even at good rates. Workers in kilns are skilled and don’t settle for less. The GST has also led to higher labour rates,” says Baldev Singh, a brick manufacturer from Kapurthala.The rates of clay have also doubled in two years, he says.
A few kiln owners say the rates will increase due to less production and implementation of GST by manufacturers. Singh says after GST implementation, most manufacturers are not aware of the new rules and tax slabs. The prices of construction material, including cement and iron, have skyrocketed, says Harjot Singh, the vice-president of the SBS Nagar Brick-Kiln Association.
There are 52 brick-kilns in Kapurthala district and in five years 15 kilns have been closed down in the district due to loss in business, sources said.