Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and construction industry representatives have asked the government to ensure that the cement manufacturers either bring down the rates to January level or revert to its tested policy of allowing freight subsidy on cement imports.
President LCCI Shahid Hasan Sheikh said that increase in cement rates has not only slowed down the construction activities but has also adversely affected other industrial activities. The unilateral increase in cement rates has challenged the writ of the government, Shahid Hasan said adding the unjust rate hike should be checked at all cost.
Appreciating Prime Minister’s directive for cut in cement rates he urged him not to relent the pressure until the manufacturers comply with his orders. Representative of All Pakistan Contractors Association Asad Mukhtar said cement manufacturers in the past were dealt leniently that encouraged them to increase their rates at will.
He said decrease of Rs40 or 50 per bag are not acceptable to the contractors. He said the prices should be brought down to Rs170 or 180 per bag that prevailed in the month of January. Secretary All Pakistan contractors Association Younus Khan said that at a time when the prices of furnace oil had already fallen thrice and there was no increase in the gas prices the cement manufacturers have no justification for the hike in cement prices.