LAHORE - All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has urged the government to decrease the taxes and federal excise duty (FED) on cement to keep the export industry competitive in global market, besides boosting local consumption, which might decline due to less allocation for PSDP in the budget 2018-19.

Spokesman of the APCMA said that the industry, in its budget proposals, has been demanding to abolish the FED as cement is not a luxury item and FED is always placed on items to discourage its usage. He added that the upsurge in consumption is encouraging for the economy as this commodity basically improves the infrastructure and reduces housing deficit in the country, however, the recent increase in federal excise duty (FED) will hurt the local consumption.

He said that upward trend in cement dispatches continued unabated, as the overall dispatches during the first ten months of this fiscal were 38.99 million tons compared with 33.88 million tons of cement dispatched during the same period last year, posting a growth of 15.10 percent. The mills from northern region dispatched 28.99 million tons cement for domestic consumption that was 18.69 percent higher than last year. The north zone exported 2.67 million tons of cement during this period that was 1.27 percent less than last year. The mills located in the south zone dispatched 6.08 million tons of cement for domestic consumption that was 11.94 percent higher than last year and exported 1.236 million tons cement which was 5.04 percent less than last year.