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Kota stone traders miffed over lack of clarity on GST slab

Chuttan Lal Sharma warned that traders may launch a movement if the government doesn’t clarify and the stone is put it under 5% tax slab.

jaipur Updated: Nov 20, 2017 20:43 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Kota traders,GST
The GST department has clarified that only raw Kota stone will attract 5% GST whereas processed Kota stone will be in 18% GST tax slab.(HT PHOTO)

Kota stone traders are demanding clarification on the GST tax slab from the GST Council. The traders want the stone to have no more than 5% GST as the traders claim that it’s mostly used by the middle class.

The GST department has clarified that only raw Kota stone will attract 5% GST whereas processed Kota stone will be in 18% GST tax slab.

Mukesh Tyagi, general secretary of Hadoti Kota Stone Industries Association (HKSIA), Kota, said that before GST, the Value Added Tax (VAT) was 2%. In July, the Union government announced two GST tax slabs of 5% and 28% on Kota stone.

Later, it was clarified that it’s 5%. The then sales tax commissioner, Rajasthan, Jaipur (now state GST commissioner) Alok Gupta had written to the joint commissioners, sales tax department on August 21, 2017, in which he said that Kota Stone, whether or not roughly trimmed or merely cut by sawing or otherwise will fall under 5% GST while tiles will fall under 28% GST.

Before the traders could start paying 5% GST, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in October stated that GST on Kota stone has been reduced from 28% to 18%. This created confusion among traders, who had assumed it to be 5%, said HKSIA president Chuttan Lal Sharma.

He said that since Jaitley’s announcement, the central and state GST officials are not giving a written statement on the tax slab. “Since most of the Kota stone processing units are sawing or cutting the stone and not processing them, it should invite only 5% GST.”

“The Kota stone costs between ₹18 and ₹20 per square feet and is used in flooring mostly by poor and middle-class people as it is affordable compared to marble (between ₹40 and ₹1,000 per square feet), so keeping them both in same GST slab of 18% will hit business badly.”

Apart from GST tax, the state government is also recovering royalty of ₹121 per tonne which recently has been hiked to ₹154 per tonne, so it’s like a double blow to Kota stone traders, he said.

“Kota stone trade offers direct and indirect employment to over 2 lakh people in Kota region so it should be kept in the lowest tax slab of 5%,” he said.

Chuttan Lal Sharma warned that traders may launch a movement if the government doesn’t clarify and the stone is put it under 5% tax slab.

However, deputy commissioner, central GST, Naresh Bundel said that there is no confusion. Raw Kota stone excavated during mining will attract 5% GST while any kind of processing or change in form will attract 18% GST.

First Published: Nov 20, 2017 20:43 IST