Pakistan’s cement exporters are in a fix as Indian authorities have detained their consignments of around 5,000t cement and are demanding unnecessary documents from them, exporters told Business Recorder on Friday.
They said that Indian authorities, a few days back, have detained Pakistan’s cement consignments on arrival at the Nhava Sheva port on the pretext of having not obtained ’quality certificate’ from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
"The Indian authorities had detained our consignment of around 1500t of cement eight days back when it reached Nhava Sheva port and since then we are striving to convince them (Indian quarantine officials) about the quality of our cement," said Muhammad Abid Ganatra, Director, Finance, Lucky Cement.
"We have been informed by our co-ordinator in Mumbai that no Pakistani cement consignment had been released by Indian authorities from any of port where the consignments had been sent on the grounds of BIS certificate," he said.
"Our cement is best in quality as compared to Indian and it has quality certificates of different authentic organisations," he said, and added that "we have applied for BIS certificate, and it is expected that our consignment will be released next week".
He said that Pakistan is exporting cement to various countries, including Iraq, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates, and there have been no complaints so far from any of the cement importing countries.
He said that quality of Pakistan’s cement is far better than its biggest rival China and, most importantly, Pakistan is most competitive in the form of transportation charges as compared to other regional countries, which usually constitute 15 percent of the imported price of cement, he added.
Exporters said: "We are compelled to pay huge amounts on account of demurrages everyday as Indian authorities are creating necessary hurdles." They said that the process of issuance of BIS certificate might take 30 days, which is prerequisite for getting the material cleared by authorities, while the cement importers would have to pay Rs 1,500 per day per container against CFS and other charges.They said there are 4-5 consignments of Pakistan cement around 5,000 tons have detained by Indian authorities due to absence of the BIS certificate, and adding that the Indian officials’ demand is unnecessary for release of the goods.
They said that there was no quality dispute, and consignments had been stopped only due to non availability of the BIS certificate, which the exporters did not get being unaware of the process.