LAHORE: The cement industry expected capacity utilization for the year 2013-14 will be around 80% as the sector has posted over 3 million tons despatches during each of the past three months as the development projects launched by federal and provincial governments will further boost cement consumption.

Experts however warned that industry will not be able to absorb the high costs of inputs for long. They said that the prices have been capped by the manufacturers so that the buoyancy in construction sector is not disturbed. Industry representatives expressed concerns that instead of reducing excise duty on cement in line with stated government policy, it has levied further Rs.50 per ton excise on cement manufacturers. They said that 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.–Staff Reporter

 But regrettably, the government chose to ignore the issues and imposed measures that would jack up the cement prices.