Mumbai, Feb. 1: Rattled by the Vijay Kelkar committee recommendations that called for a hike in excise duties on agricultural pumps, the organised sector has approached the Centre seeking status quo as it could sound a death-knell to the industry already hit by cheap kits.
The Kelkar committee had recommended that excise duties on these pumps be hiked to 8 per cent initially and later to 16 per cent from the present 4 per cent. “The industry is already burdened by cheap kits from the grey market in addition to various other duties,” said Harshad Joshi, president of Indian Pump Manufacturers Association.
He added that the forthcoming budget should provide for a conducive structure of duties and levies to promote demand for energy efficient equipment.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Joshi pointed out that the average cost of a kit available in the grey market is cheaper by more than 30 per cent to that manufactured from the organised sector. This element has resulted in them spreading to command two-thirds market share in terms of volume (7 lakh kits annually) and 55 per cent in terms of value (Rs 600 crore).