LAHORE - The cement industry, expressing concern over the decision of enhancing excise duty by another Rs50 per ton on cement manufacturing, has said that government did not incorporate industry’s proposals of reducing levy in line with its commitment made with the representatives of the industry.
As per calculations of cement industry experts, the additional excise duty on cement will add rupees 2.5 per bag to the cost and the duty on coal will further increase the prices substantially as fuel is the major cost of production. Electricity rates have already been increased to historically high level further worsening the overall situation.
“Policy makers were informed of many issues which are impeding the growth of cement sector, much before the preparation of the budget and the concerned circles assured that the genuine concerns of industry will be addressed. But regrettably, the government chose to ignore the issues and imposed measures that would jack up the cement prices,” a cement manufacturer said, requesting his name not to be mentioned.”
He warned that industry will not be able to absorb the high costs of inputs for long. He said that the prices have been capped by the manufacturers so that the buoyancy in construction sector is not disturbed, as the development projects launched by federal and provincial governments will further boost cement consumption. He assured that manufacturers will maintaining current cement prices although the taxation measures announced by the government in the federal budget have dampened the spirits of manufacturers.