LAHORE - The sales of cement are being greatly affected owing to inclusion of this product in the 3rd schedule of sales tax act. The industry has requested the concerned authorities to resolve the anomaly, enabling the sector to continue playing its role in the nation building.

The cost of production of the is rapidly rising due to increase in transportation cost and the electricity costs. The additional taxes imposed by government of Pakistan on cement industry due to inclusion of cement in 3rd schedule to the Sales Tax Act during the last budget, has worsen the situation.  These factors need to be seriously considered by the government in order to reduce the cost of production that will ultimately result in lower prices to the end users. We have witnessed the lowest figure for exports to Afghanistan in the start of 2014 compared to previous six months of the current fiscal year. 

The Afghanistan exports are declining due to slow pace of new project development in the country and also because of expected withdrawal of NATO forces causing uncertainty in the country.