Hyderabad: Considering the wide use of cement, it should be brought under the lowest GST slab. It currently attracts 28 per cent, the highest slab on a par with luxury goods. Lowering the GST will bring down the costs and will aid in the demand increasing, said speakers at the 14th Green Cementech 2018.
The event, organised by the Cement Manufacturers Association and industry lobby body Confederation of Indian Industry, stressed the need for various stakeholders using new technology to cut down pollution to a large extent.
Speaking on the occasion, Philip Mathew, chairman, Green Cementech 2018 and Chief Manufacturing Officer, ACC Limited, said various cement manufacturers have now embarked on upgrading their technologies to make green cement. There are about 375 green products that can be made with cement, he said.
Most of the cement plants have captive power plants but are not being utilised fully as the plants are operating below capacity. Government should allow the cement plans to connect these captive plants to the grid and aid the plants cut down expenses to that extent.
KN Rao, co-chairman, Green Cementech 2018, the cement capacity utilisation is about 60 per cent now and there is scope to increase it. However, the increasing input costs are forcing the companies to go slow. The cement industry is now facing shortage of flyash across the States, he said.
Cement is a key building material that is used in the infrastructure and housing segments and should be seen as a bulk commodity and not a premium good, he said.
KC Jhanwar, deputy managing director and chief manufacturing officer, Ultratech Cement, said cement industry’s compliance with environmental norms is high. It uses waste products of several industries as raw material, he said.
A report on ‘Indain Cement Industry: History, Growth Drivers and Key Learnings’ was released on Thursday. The report said cement sector is on an upward growth trajectory and has taken initiatives for water, energy, material conservation. It said there is a need for developing a roadmap for reducing carbon emissions further, increase adoption of alternate fuels and raw materials, develop methods for recycling concrete and stepping up research and development of green products.