Cement manufacturers in Pakistan have proposed the government to abolish central excise duty (CED) on cement. Talking to newsmen, Managing Director, Dadabhoy Cement, Senator Mohammed Amin Dadabhoy, said that they had proposed the government to abolish CED on cement and increase sales tax from 15 percent to 18 percent to overcome losses. He said these measures would increase sale of cement that ultimately would generate more revenue. Justifying his claim, he said that the CED is an old tax and it had been abolished around the world. Now it is time of sales tax, he added.
He noted that cement manufacturers expanding their production capacity as well as establishing new units to meet the rising demand of cement due to on going construction work in the country as well as its demand in Afghanistan, Iraq, Dubai etc. He said that cement industries, which were running at 78 percent capacity last year, were now running at 98 percent capacity to meet the increasing demand. He further stated that most of the cement factories are now running on coal and added that the coal prices are increasing rapidly.
He hoped that cement production might touch to 34Mt in next three to four years. At present, he said, Pakistan producing around 16Mt of cement.
He noted, in the first seven months of the current fiscal year, Pakistan had exported around 822,000t cement to Afghanistan. This figure is expected to touch 1Mt by the end of June 2005.
He noted that cement is being sold in Pakistan at Rs235 to Rs240 per bag. Cement prices were increased in 1999-2000 since then no change has been made in its prices.