Steelmakers in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh call for the abolition of additional goods tax (AGT) levied by the state government to provide a level-playing field for producers in the region.
Voicing the demand of steel mills in Himachal, who have to pay AGT in addition to the national-level goods and service tax (GST), the Himachal Pradesh Steel Industry Association has urged the state authorities to do away with AGT, according to local media.
Members of the association called AGT illegal and unjust after the introduction of GST in July 2017, which subsumes all taxes levied by state and central government on the sale of goods and provision of services. AGT is charged at Rs37.5/mt on iron and steel both in raw material and finished goods form, and industries have to file a monthly and an annual return accounting for the import and export of material from Himachal in addition to GST filings.
If the state foregoes AGT, steelmakers in Himachal’s Baddi Barotiwala Nalagarh industrial belt and Sirmaur will be at par with their counterparts in other states in terms of costs. The steel association has urged the government to reduce the burden on local producers and improve their competitiveness against mills in other states, besides doing away with the hassle of additional paperwork and assessment for AGT returns.