The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association has said that the growth in the domestic economy has supported overall growth in the cement industry. He said that the industry has approached various decision makers to stop influx of Iranian cement into Pakistan from Balochistan by road and railway. The industry needs mechanism of safeguard to be put in place to protect the cement smuggling into the country. Government should also impose 20pc Regulatory Duty for import of cement in addition to custom duty.

The APCMA spokesperson added that due to high cost of doing business in Pakistan, Pakistani cement industry is losing competitiveness to other countries such as Iran, UAE and India. The industry has appealed for reduction in energy costs, removal of GIDC imposed on gas, reduction of custom duty on coal to 0pc and additional incentive of 5pc on export of cement by sea.

Statistics indicate that cement sector is now almost completely dependent on domestic sales, the share of which has increased to over 80 percent in total cement sales compared to around 50 percent in 2008-09, as domestic sales continue to increase while exports are showing constant decline. Cement despatches to domestic markets during the month of October 15 were 2.595 Million Tons compared with 2.095 Million Tons during same month last year showing an increase of 23.89pc.