The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has urged the government to clear its long-awaited dues relating to an inland-freight subsidy.
Chairman of APCMA, Aizaz Mansoor Sheikh, has written to the Ministry of Finance recalling that the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) had allowed a 35 per cent inland freight subsidy for cement exports via sea between 26 March to 30 June 2010. The subsidy was offered to boost cement exports as high inland freight costs had made it hard for local producers to compete on the international market.
MR Mansoor Sheikh said that having fulfilled all conditions, the cement sector has filed claims to the TDAP worth PKR269.293m but as yet are to be reimbursed. “It was learnt that Ministry of Finance has not released any funds yet for the claims,” the chairman said in the statement.
He further underlined that eighty per cent of production capacity is in the north and 20 per cent in the south and that the inland freight subsidy was put in place to facilitate cement exports via sea, particularly from plants situated in the north zone. He noted that producers had accepted export orders on the assumption that freight claims would be honoured.
Mr Mansoor Sheikh has requested that the finance secretary intervene in the matter and issue instruction for the immediate clearance of the payments. “Delay in clearing legitimate claims of the cement industry is leading to colossal losses,” he said.