Cement prices on decline, no need for import duties

Cement prices on decline, no need for import duties
Published: 04 July 2005

There will be no need to impose regulatory duty on Pakistan’s cement imports since its the prices have already started to decline after increased supply by the industry, said Tariq Sehgal, the chairman of the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association.

“It won’t be needed, since the prices are going down already,” he said. The prices in the northern region have started to decline fast and have already come down to Rs 300 per bag, while the prices in the southern region are already under the level. Mr Tariq said the prices had increased due to some disturbance from some companies. However, he said, after the current negotiations with government the association had asked its members to reduce the prices with higher supply.

After the budget, cement prices in the country, especially in the northern region, went through an increase of Rs 90 per bag to Rs 330 per bag to Rs 335 per bag from the pre-budget level of Rs 245 per bag, despite the fact that the government had not increased taxes, duties in the budget 2005-06. The government in its meeting with the representatives of the cement industry has asked them to the reduce prices, and in response the association has agreed to limit the prices with
increased supply.

The All Pakistan Contractors Association (APCA), in a press statement, also asked the government to allow duty-free import of cement from all countries including India, China and Iran, for meeting the domestic demand. It alleged that cement manufacturers and dealer had engineered the extraordinary increase in cement prices throughout the country. It said the continuous increase in the prices would result in a crisis in the construction industry and hurt important projects. It said that the cement prices in Pakistan were much higher compared with India, China and Iran.