Builders under “tremendous” stress: BAI

BENGALURU: A three-day national convention of Builders’ Association of India beginning here from January 19 would address challenges faced by the builders, many of whom were on the verge of bankruptcy due to factors, including “lack of clarity” on GST, its office-bearers said today.

Convention chairman Bhishma R Radhakrishnan said the meet will be themed around ‘Building India’ since it was close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission.

Highlighting the problems faced by the builders, he said, “We are the only sector paying all the taxes starting from GST, sales tax, municipal taxes and so on. Yet, we are under tremendous stress. This convention will have a spiritual touch to de-stress the builders who face hurdles at every level.” He pointed out that the year 2017 was not good for the builders and contractors as business touched the lowest point.

“We hope that 2018 will be a revival for us,” he said.

BAI national president Veera Raghava Reddy said many builders were on the verge of bankruptcy due to exorbitant delay in release of payments, red-tapism stalling time bound clearances, “lack of clarity” in the Goods and Services Taxes (GST), cement manufacturers’ cartel and unused labour welfare cess.

The government had so far collected Rs 40,000 crore as labour welfare cess but not even 10 per cent of it had been utilised yet, he claimed.

“Why the government does not build schools and invest in education for the labourers’ children? Give authority to our association and we will work for the welfare of the labourers,” said Reddy.