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Granite units hit as China stops imports.


Date: 28-09-2021
Subject: Granite units hit as China stops imports
Amaravati: In a setback to the struggling granite industry in Andhra Pradesh, China has stopped the precious stone imports  from India. Rising covid-19 cases and stock pile-up in the last one year reported to have prompted China to impose temporary ban on granite imports. The decision has badly hit the industry in Prakasam district which is heavily dependent on exports to China. 

According to industry sources, granite factories in Chimakurthy region of Prakasam district used to export nearly 40,000 to 45,000 cubic meters of stone per month. Local traders were shipping the stocks from Krishnapatnam and Chennai ports. Cancellation of import orders by Chinese clients has left the local industry shocked. 

In fact, granite industry has been struggling since the outbreak of Covid-19 last year as units became unable to generate stocks in sufficient quantities after a large number of migrant workers left for their native places. Though the workers returned after 4-5 months, the state government’s taxation policy complicated the matters for the traders. The government imposed Consideration Amount Levy (CAL) resulting in nearly Rs 100 crore burden on the industry. 

Besides new taxes, the government also introduced weightage based seigniorage leaving little scope for the industry to recover. “The state government is making nearly Rs 40-Rs 50 crore revenue per month and nearly Rs 500 crore per annum from the granite industry. Imposing additional burden in the form of new taxes is making it very difficult to manage the situation particularly when the exports orders touched rock bottom,” said K Sekhar Reddy, district granite units association president. He said chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy should bail out the industry by easing the tax burden. 

The industry is also suffering due to the heavy increase in the container charges. “Container charges have been increased by 50 per cent. This fixed the last nail on the coffin of the struggling granite industry,” said C Badari Narayana, a noted exporter. 

Source:thetimesofindia.com

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