The Builders’ Association of India (BAI) has demanded the setting up of a “Cement Regulator” and implement other reforms and regulatory mechanisms for the construction sector to ensure its streamlined growth.
The subcontractors in the construction sector are still levied Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 18 % which has to be reduced further, BAI said in a statement in Hyderabad.
B Seenaiah, Chief Patron of BAI, said a “Cement Regulatory Authority” will help control the pricing and prevent cartelization by manufacturers and unfair practises.
“In fact, if a regulatory mechanism is in place, the cost of house construction can be reduced to a competitive Rs 50 per sq.ft. making housing affordable for all, he said.
“The subcontractors in the construction sector are still levied GST of 18% which has to be reduced further. Also, out of the Real Estate Industry GST, 6% is regarded as land value. Land valuation deduction under construction of complexes should be based on the actual cost of the land or should be based on value mentioned in the ready-reckoner,” Seenaiah said.
Bhishma R Radhakrishnan, Chairman of the three-day BAI national convention, which is to begin in Bangalore on Jan 19, said “we are the only sector paying all the taxes starting from GST, sales tax, municipal taxes and so on.”
BAI said 2017 was not good for the builders and contractors as business touched the lowest point. “We hope that 2018 will be a revival for us,” Radhakrishnan said.
BAI national president Veera Raghava Reddy said many builders were on the verge of bankruptcy due to exorbitant delay in release of payments, redtapism, failure in time bound clearances, lack of clarity in GST, cement manufacturers’ cartel and unused labour welfare cess.
The government had so far collected Rs 400 bn as labour welfare cess but not even 10% of it had been utilised yet, he claimed.