LAHORE - The cement makers have strongly impressed upon the Ministry of Finance to waive off import duties on shredded rubber scrap to save a huge amount of $45 million annually in the countrys import bill. The cement manufacturers can substitute coal by rubber scrap, which is $85 per ton cheaper than coal but produces same level of energy when used as calcining material. 525,000 tons of coal can be substituted by this cheaper material, which will result in saving of at least $45 million in the import bill of the country, All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) mentioned in a letter written to Minister for Finance, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh. The industry needs to inject huge capital investment for enabling cement makers to use scrap rubber but the rate of customs duty on this item is an impediment in making this investment, the letter read. Presently, shredded rubber scrap is being cleared under PCT heading 4004.0090 chargeable at the customs duty rate of 20 percent ad valorem. APCMA urged the government to abolish customs duty on import of rubber scrap tyres in order to reduce the burden of taxes and duties on the cement industry and allow the industry to continue funding the national kitty. Scrap tires, if not properly managed, can create an environmental nuisance and eyesore and they can constitute an environmental hazard if they burn in an uncontrolled manner, such as in a field or landfill. However, by utilizing cement kilns controlled combustion environment, scrap tires can be an environmentally-sound source of energy in the manufacture of cement.