LAHORE - All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has said that cement industry is among the highest contributors to the national exchequer over the last few years, as the industry’s total tax and duties contribution has increased to Rs117 billion in 2016-17 from Rs39 billion in 2012-13.

The spokesman, attributing domestic growth in the sector to the policies of the government and its thrust on mega infrastructure projects, said that cement sector is experiencing high growth particularly in the domestic market for the last three years. According to data, the total cement dispatches in the first eight months of this fiscal stood at 30.12 million tons compared with dispatches of 26.33 million tons during the corresponding period of last year. This is an increase of almost 4 million tons in eight months. Overall the sector grew by 14.30 percent during this period.

In the month of February, the total cement dispatches were 3.781 million tons. Out of this, dispatches in the North were 3.052 million tons while cement dispatches in southern part amounted to 0.729 million tons.

The exports from North based mills amounted to 0.181 million tons and from south based mills was 0.120 million tons. The increase in exports was 18.41 percent compared with an increase of 9.38 percent recorded in domestic consumption.

Though the local cement consumption continued to grow robustly and stood at 9.38 percent in February but the percentage of increase in exports were even higher than domestic consumption for the first time in current fiscal.

The capacity utilization in the first eight months of this fiscal was 91.34 percent of the total installed capacity of the cement sector.