Andhra Pradesh calls for easing cement imports

Andhra Pradesh calls for easing cement imports
Published: 25 June 2007

Concerned over the rising cement prices and their impact on various projects, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has urged the central government to facilitate import of cement immediately without any conditions.

Reddy, in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said that Andhra Pradesh is the main consumer of cement in the country because of its massive housing schemes, roads, infrastructure and irrigation projects.

He urged the prime minister to permit import of cement without the certification of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), as it is a cumbersome procedure, said a statement from the chief minister’s office.

Reddy said if the import of cement is allowed, the state will be able to get cement below Rs.150 per bag and would also automatically bring down the cement prices in Indian markets.

He said that the country, in the process, would be able to save up to Rs.200 billion.

’If the cement is imported from countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, it will cost only $60 to 65 per tonne or Rs.130 per bag,’ the chief minister said.

’However, the import of cement is getting delayed in following the procedures prescribed by the BIS. The procedure of testing cement requires minimum 28 days to find out the compressive strength. The formalities in BIS takes at least two to three months,’ he said.