The Pakistan government is expected to soon issue the notification pertaining to rebate of Rs 60 per bag for import cement, paving the way to increase the quantum of supply to meeting the local demand. Ashraf Tar Mohammad, Chairman of Pakistan Commodity Traders Association (PCTA), said that he had contacted Dr Salman Shah, advisor to prime minister on finance and economic affairs, in Washington and he said that he had asked the Central Board of Revenue Chairman to expedite the process of notification. "We are hopeful that soon the notification would be announced, paving the way for import, as much as 400,000 tons cement", he said. Moreover, he said, "we are waiting for the mechanism of the rebate, which would certainly help the importers to smoothen their transactions".
Ashraf said that at present cement prices in international market are favourable and the government’s decision of Rs 60 per bag rebate would soon increase the inflow and help in stabilising the prices in the domestic market. Already, cement prices have come down from Rs 380 per bag to Rs 350 per bag and, following the arrival of imported cement, these might see a further fall of Rs 40 to Rs 50 per bag. The importers, Ashraf said, had booked cement of high standard, used in construction of high rise buildings, both for offices and residential buildings. The brand well known at the international arena is of British Standards, known as BS-1978.
He explained further that cement prices in international market originating from India, Iran, Korea, Ukraine and Philippines range from US$65 to US$70 per tonne while the Chinese brand is quoted at US$65 per tonne [delivered].
After paying 15 per cent sales, 10 per cent value-addition tax (sales tax) and excise duty of 37.50 rupees per bag, total cost works out to Rs 300-310 per bag. Following rebate allowed by the government, the cost would stand at Rs 250 per bag.