India: Kishangarh’s Marble Industry Under Pressure

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Kishangarh, India’s historic marble hub, faces a multitude of challenges. The rise of ceramic tiles, coupled with cheap Chinese imports and high taxes, has shrunk the industry by 25% in recent years.

Over 25,000 livelihoods are at stake, with the rapid expansion of tile showrooms threatening traditional marble businesses. Marble association officials urge the government to reduce taxes on marble, currently at 18%, to make it more competitive with tiles. They argue for a decrease to 12%, or ideally, 5% to match the previous VAT rate.

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The struggle extends beyond shopkeepers – skilled workers like cutters and polishers face potential unemployment as the demand for marble declines. Kishangarh’s fight highlights the challenges faced by traditional industries in the face of changing consumer preferences and a competitive market.