Contrary to expectations, the Pakistan federal government is unlikely to consider a proposal to reduce the central excise duty (CED) on cement in the forthcoming federal budget for the fiscal year 2004-05.
A meeting will be held on Tuesday next week to firm up tax measures to be announced in the federal budget. ³The budgetary tax proposals to be taken up in the meeting on Tuesday, so far do not contain any proposal of reducing CED on the cement sector,² an official at the finance ministry told Daily Times. The official said that during the current fiscal year the CED on cement was reduced by 25 percent and was brought down to Rs750 per metric ton from Rs1000 as at that time the capacity utilisation of cement industry was just above 50 per cent.
³The government has recognized the fact that presently the cement industry is at 102 percent capacity utilisation which had also led to reduction in cost and that is why the proposal of further reducing CED on cement by 25 per cent has not been included in any of the budgetary tax proposals so far being firmed up,² the official said.