Equipment India - page 6

july 2017
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GST Council needsto
prioritise CE
Dr E Sreedharan was revered and acknowledged
as India’s ‘Metro man’ because he managed to do
the impossible, i.e., dig into Delhi while it worked
and build the metro rail, and that too, in record
time. His execution won him laurels. Recently,
he was again in the news as the Rs 5,180-crore
Kochi Metro was launched after having been
completed in record time with no cost overruns.
Project execution has been our bane and billions have gone down the drains
in cost overruns. Documentation and permissions are definitely a cause, but
mechanisation has come to the rescue in most other cases. However, it seems
that construction equipment (CE) is facing government apathy. Even the dust
of demonetisation had not settled, the industry had to face the next hurdle
of the BS-III vehicle ban, even though it does not fall under the purview of
the norm. However, both these instances were termed temporary phases.
The whole CE industry was looking at GST as the most progressive step in its
way. But as the implementation nears, the CE industry is deeply concerned
with a possible downward growth due to the inclusion of most of the fast
moving construction equipment in the ‘luxury’ tax bracket of 28 per cent.
ICEMA has already revised downwards its growth figures on construction
equipment to 5 per cent from the otherwise estimated 20 per cent growth
for the ongoing financial year. According to the Association, majority of the
vehicles that contribute to the overall sales of CE in India such as backhoe
loaders and excavators will now be taxed at 28 per cent. The GST Council has
clarified that it will now consider suggestions and pleas on GST only after its
implementation on July 1. This definitely needs a re-look by the GST Council
as putting CE in the same basket as luxury cars does not bode well for our
infrastructure growth.
Mobile cranes market in India was going through a sluggish performance
for the past few years. However, the government’s progressive steps towards
infrastructure development has brought this equipment segment to the
limelight of growth. With bigger projects in Metro, railway, refinery and
wind power underway, heavy-duty mobile cranes have an increased presence
in these projects. Our Cover Story gives an elaborate picture on the current
market of mobile cranes.
The recently inaugurated Dhola-Sadiya bridge, constructed by Navayuga
Engineering Company Ltd, is the longest river bridge constructed
in India so far. We bring out an exclusive on this mega project with
Dr Ir PV Chandramohan, President (Technical), sharing his experience
and challenges faced during the construction of this bridge.
Challenging months lie ahead as we need to fight to reclaim our rightful pace
in the priorities of the government’s plans for the infrastructure sector.
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