Cement dealers in Pakistan raised prices of cement on Tuesday by Rs10 per 50kg bag due to rising transportation expenses in the wake of a ban on the entrance of heavy vehicles in the metropolis, market sources said.
They said that traffic police had put a complete ban on the entrance of the heavy vehicles, including trucks, trailers and container trucks, during daytime following the order of the Supreme Court to control the traffic jams.
Following the restriction on heavy vehicles, the dealers were now using small vehicles for cement transportation, which was costlier as compared to heavy-duty vehicles, they added.
"We have raised Rs 10 per 50kg bag on all types of cement to meet the soaring supply expenses of cement," said Secretary of All Karachi Cement Dealers Welfare Association Muhammad Shahzad Siddiqui. After this recent upsurge, average quality cement was being sold at Rs 240-250 per 50-kilogram bag as previously it was sold at Rs 230-240 per 50kg bag in the domestic market, he said.
He added that the best quality cement prices had reached Rs 270 per 50kg bag in the local market from Rs 250-260. "Our supply expenses have gone up by 100 per cent, as earlier one truck was supplying cement to the entire city, but with the ban on trucks’’ entry into the city, we are depending on small pick-ups for the delivery from Suhrab Goth to shops and after that to the customers," he said.
He said that the traffic police had arrested dozens of drivers and sent them to jail, while their trucks were impounded. "If the present situation continues, then further increase in cement prices cannot be ruled out," Shahzad said.
Keeping in view the cement dealers problems, he demanded of the government to review its decision and allow trucks to supply cement to dealers across the city.