Withdrawal of subsidy on imported cement urged

Withdrawal of subsidy on imported cement urged
Published: 24 April 2006

The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) general body meeting has expressed the hope that the government will reconsider the Economic Coordi-nation Committee (ECC) decision to provide a subsidy of Rs 60 per bag on imported cement and do away with such punitive decisions. In a press statement on Thursday, APCMA chairman Tariq Saigol said a great deal of interest has been generated in the electronic and print media about the ECC decision to provide a subsidy of Rs 60 per bag on imported cement regardless of its origin, allow unlimited imports from India by sea and land routes and convert voluntary restraint on export, particularly to Afghanistan, till further notice.

He said such punitive measures have ostensibly been taken to bring down cement prices, but they are likely to have serious ill effects on the health of this industry, particularly in light of doubling of capacity from 21Mt to 42Mt within 18 months. The APCMA general body has reviewed these measures and has apprised the government of its serious concerns as a result of these unfortunate decisions, he added.