The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has conducted a search and inspection of the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) premises as well as Kohat Cement offices in Lahore to seize documents which could confirm collusive activities in an alleged cement cartel.
The Business Recorder of Pakistan report that this is the second time the CCP has carried out such an inspection of the cement sector. This new investigation is due to the continued rise in prices over the course of 2011 which increased from PKR330 in January to reach PKR425 by December.
The CCP states that producers are raising prices despite reductions in sales tax and Federal Excise Duty (FED) by one per cent and PKR200/t, respectively, along with the removal of a 2.5 per cent Special Excise Duty that had been announced in the 2011-12 Federal Budget. This had allowed savings of PKR22-23/bag which have been absorbed by producers, the CCP notes.