Two Bangladesh-based companies have received the approval from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for selling cement in Indian market.
Cement makers Aramik Cement of Dhaka and M I Cement Factory of Chittagong are the first foreign manufacturers to get the nod after the government has liberalised the cement import policy in May this year.
Domestic manufacturers earlier this month had hiked prices by Rs 3-5 per bag.
"With these two approvals, the total number of approved foreign manufacturers in cement goes up to 13," a senior government official said.
As many as 11 companies were earlier granted licence before the import norms were made easier in May this year.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the designated agency, has opened a special cell to clear proposals from abroad after government liberalised the import policy.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade in May this year suspended restrictions on cement import till March 2008.
Earlier, the import was allowed only for captive consumption and on continuous basis.
"The government’s decision to allow import of cement from other countries is mainly aimed at facilitating availability of cement at reasonable rates to the consumers without compromising on quality," the official said.
Meanwhile, two Chinese companies – Yingde Dragon Mountain Cement Company and Longkou Fanlin Cement Company – have also applied for licences some 15-20 days back, official sources said.
"Though the application of the two Chinese companies are not complete, they are serious to export cement to India," sources said.