LAHORE - The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association has said that the industry is performing in stiff regulatory environment and is surviving only because it has upgraded its technology, which has provided it the strength to take any challenge head on.

“Our quality is the best in the region and our efficiency is second to none. No cement could compete with Pakistani cement if imported at real and fair value after paying all govt levies. However, weak border controls and lax customs vigilance allow entry of cement from across our borders at unfair valuations hurting the local cement industry,” said the spokesman of APCMA.

He said that the dispatch figures for July are most encouraging, as by dispatching 3.382 million tons of cement in July 2017 the industry has established a record for this month. Never before the sector had crossed the dispatch limit of 3 million tons in the month of July. However, he said that this does not mean that the economic planners ignore the genuine difficulties faced by this sector.

Though the exports to Afghanistan increased by 40.25 percent from 0.15 million tons in July last year to 0.21 million tons in July 2017 yet this major increase was offset by decline of 11.61 percent and 18.95 percent respectively, in exports to India and other countries by sea which stood at 0.122 and 0.144 million tons respectively in July 2017, going down from 0.138 million tons and 0.178 million tons in July last year.

He said that the government should lower excise duty on the sector to further boost dispatches. In the same way the import duty on coal imported by the sector should be brought at par with other sectors.