Pakistani exports to India have got stuck for want of certification by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
"We have asked the federal government to get approval from the BIS as a number of Pakistani companies have applied for it," said Aizaz Shaikh, chairman All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA).
"I think that without political interference the Indian government will not allow cement import from Pakistan," he was quoted by Daily Times as saying.
Shaikh complained that BIS, a state-run Indian organisation, "is not properly answering the request of Pakistani industrialists".
Pakistani cement makers, operating their factories below capacity, are eyeing the Indian market, which is estimated to require more than 2.5-3 million tonnes cement annually.
The industry says it can easily supply 6,000 to 8,000 tonnes daily.
Shaikh said that almost all the cement manufacturers in Pakistan have applied in India for the standards certification to export cement to India.
Pakistani cement companies produced 24.2 million tonnes cement against a production capacity of 32 million tonnes.
"Cement industry capacity in Pakistan would be around 40 million tonnes by the end of this fiscal year," said Mohammad Rehan Khan, analyst at First Capital securities, a local brokerage house.
"This capacity may touch 44 million tonnes by 2008-09," he added. "If the BIS gives permission to Pakistani cement industry to enter the Indian market, it would be an extra benefit to the Pakistani industry."
Local cement firms had sent a few shipments in the last financial year, which were withheld by the Indian customs at ports due to lack of required certification. Later, these consignments were released on the guarantees furnished to the authorities by their buyers in India.
Industry sources said that local factories had enough capacity to ship 8,000-10,000 tonnes of cement a day to India. Pakistani cement makers have set a price of Rs240 per 50kg bag while the local price is Rs190 to Rs210.
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