India: Budget seen as positive for the cement sector


Updated Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:12:30 GMT

India's new budget includes more room for foreign investment, infrastructure spending and a goods and services tax in an attempt to boost economic growth. Industry insiders have labelled the budget as a ‘mixed bag’ for the cement industry.

The government's focus on infrastructure is expected to boost demand for cement throughout the country. India's economy has slowed in recent years, growing by 4.7% in 2013 – 2014, but, according to Shailendra Chouksey, Vice President of the Cement Manufacturers' Association (CMA), the cement sector can look forward to a revival in consumption.

Despite this, industry players were disheartened at the unchanged tax rates. Chouksey noted that the sector was looking for some rationalisation of high incidence of taxes. The industry was also expecting to be considered under the category of "Declared Goods" under section 14 of the Central Sales Tax Act, which would result in tax benefits that other core sector goods, such as coal and steel, are currently benefiting from.