Pakistan’s cement industry is likely to produce 7Mt surplus cement by the end of current fiscal year ending June 2007, followed by another 12Mt surplus production during next fiscal year 2007-08.
Sources in the cement industry told Daily Times that the industry is estimating at shipping some 10Mt cement to India through Dubai or directly across the border. According to them, the latter would be a better option, as it would become more economical for the Indian manufacturers, which despite fantastic results are not able to maintain prices due to higher interest rates there.
They added that shortage phenomenon in India could be assessed from the fact that the Indian government has withdrawn excise duty on cement bags besides declaring cement import duty free in the country.
It may be noted that sources in the finance ministry said that Pakistan government is likely to allow cement exports to India through Wagha border. The industry sources had also confirmed the development while adding that the issue came under discussion between the prime ministers of both countries during recently held SAARC conference in India.
According to the industry sources, countries like Dubai, Iraq, Iran and Kuwait are other likely destinations of surplus productions of the industry in the days to come.
Meanwhile, industry sources told that the clearance process from Bureau of Indian Standards for exports of Pakistan cement might take two months, as the representatives of the said Bureau issue clearance certificate after inspecting the said plants, ensuring quality of cement as well as shelf life of the cement.
“Applications for clearance certificate are filed with the Bureau some 10 days earlier and completion of inquiry can take another 50 days,” said the industry sources, adding, “No further consignment of Pakistani cement is likely to cross the border for at least during the inspection period.”