The Pakistani cement sector has witness about 70 per cent reduction in dispatches from the factories to the market due to constant rains in the country. According to them, the demand for cement has come down because of a sluggish construction activity and dispatches have reduced. As many as 15 cement factories out of 23 in the country exist in Punjab and NWFP. The total production in the northern region is around 13Mta. Almost all the units in northern part are reporting slow dispatches due to rains, said the industry sources. Meanwhile, the overall growth in January has also come down to 21.57 per cent against 24.10 per cent as compared to December 2004.
The construction sector has been directly affected by the heavy rains, as the overheads of construction companies are piling up with every passing day. The contractors are of the view that the companies would easily absorb the cost, as the rainy season would not prolong any further in the province. However, they have pointed out a heavy fluctuation in cost because of the rising fares of transports. The transporters are charging almost double fares due to rains, said one contractor and added that the trailers are not easily available. An official of SNGPL said that supply to some units was suspended due to low pressure of gas, because the consumption by the domestic consumers has shot up, he added.