Cement manufacturers have demanded the government on Saturday to reduce taxes in the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2016-17 federal budget and to take steps to eradicate smuggling of the product.
Pakistan is self-sufficient in production of cement as over 30 million tone production is recorded annually out of which around 70 lac tone is exported.
Cement Manufacturers Association’s President Muhammad Ali Tabba while talking to private news channel said that the government increased duty on coal from one per cent to five per cent and then to six per cent.
He said that cement production cost for the manufacturers remained unchanged despite revised coal prices due to imposition of different taxes. Cheaper production cost through reduced coal price would have benefitted the buyers but the price goes up when taxes come in the picture. According to the manufacturers, cheaper cement is smuggled from the neighbouring country that damages sales in local market.
Current price of a cement bag is stagnated at Rs 525 than previous Rs 500, after addition of taxes despite reduced coal price. It is pertinent to add that growth in number of development projects and increased housing schemes are lifting cement sector’s production by 15 per cent every year.