Better late than never. The Central Government has finally lowered the GST rate on construction and mining equipment to 18 per cent, from 28 per cent. Though, for some 15 per cent products, GST still remains 28 per cent, according to industry sources. But overall, the industry can breathe easy after the GST cut. Equipment sales had come down drastically, immediately post GST implementation and the CE industry had revised the growth rate downwards.
<p> However, things returned to normal soon and the equipment market grew further in the subsequent quarter due to the demand for more equipment in the ongoing projects in the country. We feel the government's latest step to bring down the GST rate on CE will further augment the growth trend. </p>
<p>Another major step from the government that may improve the prospects of material handling equipment market is granting infrastructure status to logistics sector. This will enable the logistics players to avail infrastructure lending at easier terms with enhanced limits, access to larger amounts of funds as External Commercial Borrowings (ECB), access to longer tenor funds from insurance companies and pension funds and be eligible to borrow from India Infrastructure Financing Company Ltd (IIFCL). According to government notification, infrastructure status to logistics sector will benefit multimodal logistics parks comprising inland container depots with minimum investment of Rs 50 crore and minimum area of 10 acre, cold chain facility with minimum investment of Rs 15 crore and minimum area of 20,000 sq ft, and/or warehousing facility with investment of minimum Rs 25 crore and minimum area of one lakh sq ft.</p>
<p>The mega CE event EXCON is around the corner with the exhibitors and visitors all set to throng the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre. With all the positive sentiments prevailing in the industry, this year, the event is expected to be the largest so far. The number of exhibitors is to cross 1,000, according to the organisers of the event. We have also geared up for the event with a dedicated section covering the dynamics, aspirations and expectations of the industry. Read the section to know more on the industry outlook, views of the exhibitors, and the display of products, technologies and services.</p>
<p>Equipment productivity is a major factor in a construction project. Once the project is awarded, the contractor has to effectively plan on the suitable equipment with respect to the size, type, nature, and location of the project. What are the productivity parameters considered while selecting an equipment with respect to the project? Read the Cover Story for more details.</p>
<p>Here is wishing you a rewarding EXCON and hoping that the new dawn of 2018 brings the industry new tidings! </p>
<p> Follow me on twitter @PratapPadode</p>