One of the major problems for the stone industry in India is the payment of over
twelve percent service tax on the commission paid to agents abroad for getting business.
Many agents are willing to get 3-4 containers of business every month on a 10-12 percent commission
against invoice prices, so the suppliers have to work at 5% margin in order to
be competitive in pricing. Apparently, the high taxes to the government erodes the
According to reports among 165 business units that supplied finished stone products, nearly 30 have been shut
down in the last few months. These units were heavily dependent on the US, which is the largest importer of finished products such as
monuments and tombstones. Five years ago, nearly 70 percent of granite export was
raw blocks and 30 per cent was finished product. The percentages are now completely the reverse.
So the problems that the suppliers of the finished products are facing reflect
the situation in the entire stone industry.
The US and European stone markets have been badly hit by the global economic
crisis although there is still some demand from China for granite blocks. Many
stone companies indicate that they have to reduce their prices by 25-30% during
It is predicted that the recovery in the stone industry will not likely to happen
until September, 2009. Preliminary data suggest that during the current
fiscal year, the demand for stone products from US is down as much as 50% while the demand from China and Europe has
also dropped by nearly 30%.
With reduced global demands and pitiful profit margins, the stone industry
worldwide is suffering staggering downturn as a direct result of the recession.