Thursday, Oct 14, 2004
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By Our Special Correspondent
BANGALORE, OCT. 13. The clay tile manufacturing industry, which is more than a century old, is on the decline. Compared to over 80 flourishing units across the State some decades ago, barely 60 units have managed to survive. This is a sad situation considering that roofing tiles are still called "Mangalore tiles" across the southern region.
The Karnataka Tile Manufacturers' Association held a meeting here on Tuesday to discuss what ailed the industry and what could be done to revive it. With tiles being accepted as an eco-friendly roofing material, used alone or with concrete roofing for extra protection from rain and for better insulation from the sun, tiles should be promoted, it was felt. V.S. Shanmugam, president of the association, noted that though some of the industry's problems had been solved by the Government, it had come too late. Sales tax on tiles had been reduced from 4 per cent to 1 per cent in the State Budget and excise duty had been removed. But the problem of power subsidy remained and the tile manufacturers had decided to approach the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission in this regard, he said.
With production far above demand, the association suggested that the Government could help by making tiled roofs mandatory in all housing projects for the rural poor. This was being done in some States. Tile roofing could also bring down the cost of housing, it said.
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