Pakistan likely to impose duty on cement imports

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan government is likely to soon impose regulatory duty on the import of cement to bring down its increasing prices in the country. Informed sources said that the government has once again warned the owners of cement factories to bring down the prices of cement at the level of June 9 to avoid what was termed "some immediate action".

By From A Correspondent

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Published: Sat 23 Jul 2005, 10:42 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:43 PM

The government has told the owners that the increase in the cement prices was "just unacceptable" as it would cause more inflation which was touching double digit (10 per cent). The price of per bag cement, which was Rs259 on June 9, had been increased to Rs290 on June 23. "This is a 12 percent increase in just two weeks and it is being taken by the government very seriously," a source said.

Even in July, cement prices continued to increase and were now Rs295 per bag in the market, he said. However, the market price of cement fluctuated from Rs310 to Rs330 per bag in different cities.

The other option being considered, sources said, was to allow the housing and construction builders to import duty free cement or through revised duty structure with a view to check the prices of cement. The government, sources said, did not want to control the prices of cement but was very much concerned about this increase. The operating profit of the cement factories has reached to Rs1200 per tonne which was highest in the history of Pakistan and the highest in the region, they said.

Cement factories have exported 1.443 million tonnes of cement during July-May of 2004-05, which was 10 per cent of the total production. And now they were exporting 1,75,000 tonnes of cement every month that has created certain shortage due to which its prices were revised upward what was termed "without any valid reason".

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