India has no plans to end cement duty, ban exports

India has no plans to end cement duty, ban exports
Published: 07 December 2006

India has no plans to scrap import duties on cement or ban exports as prices have stabilised after a strong rally earlier this year, a junior industry minister said on Wednesday.

"There is no proposal under consideration of the government to do away with the import duty on cement or ban exports," Ashwani Kumar told parliament in a written reply.

Cement prices are free to rise and fall depending on market conditions, unlike other products and commodities where rates are capped by the government.

Officials in May called in cement makers and asked them to reduce prices after a surge pushed up the cost of key infrastructure projects.

"(The) government had impressed upon cement manufacturers the need to rationalise cement prices," Kumar said.

In response, firms gave an undertaking to raise output, supply cement at a 5 percent discount to state-run companies and departments, and ensure that retailers did not indulge in profiteering.