Urging for ’at par’ treatment with steel imports, the Indian building and construction industry has asked the government to remove all procedural hurdles in the import of cement.
Procedural hurdles relating to steel imports were removed through a notification in October 2003 and the same needs to be done with regard to cement imports as well, the Builders Association of India (BAI) said.
The apex body of builders and engineering construction contractors has appealed to the Central Government and the Commerce Minister to direct the DGFT to issue a similar kind of notification as it did for the steel industry in 2003.
According to P R Mundle, president, BAI, this would ensure that contractors and builders would be able to import cement without delay and project work could proceed smoothly.
"Importantly, costs would be reduced for both the infrastructure and housing sectors," Mundle said, highlighting the fact that the government itself had early this year expressed alarm over rising cement prices.
In January 2007, the Government had abolished the 12.5 per cent customs duty on cement imports.