The Chairman of Pakistan’s Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD), Hanif Gonar, has accused the country’s cement manufacturers of keeping prices artificially high.
In a report in the Daily Times, Mr Gonar pointed to recent statements by the head of the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association, Muhammad Ali Tabba, who claimed that taxes on gas and coal meant the industry was unable to reduce it charges.
This was not the case, the ABAD chairman, insisted. He claimed that the cement industry was exempt from infrastructure development surcharges on gas and noted that the international price of coal had fallen steeply over the last eight years.
While cement in neighbouring India was PKR292 (US$2.80) for a 50kg bag, the comparable price in Pakistan was at least PKR500 (US$4.77).
Mr Gonar said: "We at ABAD also want to provide low-cost houses to people so that they can have their dream houses at least once in life time”, but claimed that high prices for construction materials made this impossible.