Cement export to Afghanistan in full swing

Cement export to Afghanistan in full swing
Published: 02 June 2006

Cement exports to Afghanistan from Pakistan is in full swing despite withdrawal of concessions by the government as figures climbed to 150,000t  in May. The government had allowed Rs 1250 per tonne subsidy on cement export, which includes Rs 750 Central Excise Duty (CED), 15 percent GST and Rs 25 per tonne on packing material. It was later withdrawn in the light of ECC decision to discourage export. But the manufacturers, who have serious differences within their ranks over printing of prices on bags, did not care about the government’s decision and remained fully engaged in export.

Official sources confirmed that there was no let up in cement export to Afghanistan. The export figures collected by the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) revealed that the manufacturers exported 125,000t cement to Kabul till May 25, which touched 150,000t by May 31. The sources were of the view that when the cement manufacturers were fully engaged in export, it means they were still making reasonable profit despite withdrawal of concessions.

They said, the importers had open Letters of Credit for 50,000 tonnes so far, which were expected to reach upto 80,000 tonnes within a week, adding that another vessel carrying 30,000 tonnes of Chinese cement packed in bags would be berthed at Karachi Port on June 4. Mehmood Mahboob Traders of Karachi were importing this consignment.

The Ministry had also agreed that the government would consider the request of the cement manufacturers to impose quantity limit on import and restore duty drawback on the export of a limited quantity of 100,000 tonnes of cement per month on first come first serve basis, but the figures collected by the CBR suggest that the situation is totally different.