Lahore - The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association has said that sharp decline in cement exports from North should be an eye opener for the policy makers. The APCMA spokesperson said Pakistan’s export to both Afghanistan and by-sea routes suffered. The decline in exports to Afghanistan was due to influx of Iranian cement and slowdown in economic activity. He appealed the government to support local manufacturers in winning back the Afghanistan market by giving freight subsidy enabling them to compete with highly subsidized Iranian cement. He said slower growth in cement exports to India were mainly due to non-tariff barriers erected by the Indian authorities.

Going forward, the spokesman pointed out the increase in cost of production after federal budget 2015-16 and warned that cement prices are likely to increase after Eid due to increase in duty on imported coal, imposition of GIDC and increase in electricity tariff. Consequent to the announcement of budget 2015-16, APCMA has approached FBR for the issues impacting cement industry and hopes positive response from the government in the larger interest of the country.