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Bengal brick-field owner’s body protest against GST hike

The Central Government has proposed an exorbitant hike of GST   on the sale of red clay brick with effect from April 1.  This move will spel...

The Central Government has proposed an exorbitant hike of GST on the sale of red clay brick with effect from April 1. This move will spell disaster for the brick sector. The red clay brick manufacturing sector, a Small Scale Rural Cottage Industry, is the determining factor of rural economic growth. The sector is a major employment generator and Government revenue earner. The Bengal Brick Field Owners’ Association (BBFOA) represents the entire red clay brick sector of West Bengal since 1942.

Unfortunately, the GST Council, Government of India, has in September 2021  proposed an exorbitant hike in GST on sale of red clay brick from 5% to 12% i.e. by 140% with Input tax credit (ITC) facility under Regular Scheme and (ii) from 1% to 6% i.eby 500% without ITC facility under Composition Scheme. (The Floor of Regular Scheme has been lowered arbitrarily from an annual turnover of Rs.1.50 Crore of brick-field to Rs.20 lakh. 

The proposed GST  rates are arbitrary,  unjustified, and unilateral  –thrust by the Government without discussion with the red clay brick sector – reflects dictatorial, non-democratic action of a democratically elected government.

For other industries the floors of Regular Schemes have been retained at higher turnover levels than for the clay brick industry –Government action is discriminatory, targets the rural industry instead of extending support.

The red clay brick sector is paralyzed by a number of issues  – an acute crisis of coal, a steep rise in coal prices and prices of other raw materials, sharp fall in clay brick demand post-Covid-19 recession in the construction industry, etc. But, instead of resolving problems, the Central government is up to milking the sector.

BBFOA strongly protests against the proposed GST hike and seeks immediate rollback of the proposal. BBFOA members from all over West Bengal are staging a ‘Dharna’ protest in New Delhi in front of Jantar Mantar today under the umbrella of the All India Brick & Tile Manufacturers Federation (AIBTMF).

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