Millennium Post

Zero cement import duty harming Indian producers in global market

Addressing members of the cement Manufacturers’ Association (CMA), Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Amitabh Kant, said he would take up the matter with the Revenue Secretary.

“To encourage cement exports, our department has recommended that the import duty of cement which is nil at present be reimposed to provide a level playing field to the domestic production...we will push it further. I will take it personally to the Revenue Secretary. We will try that this is done at the earliest,” he said.

The cement sector wants imposition of 2-2.5 per cent basic customs duty on cement. The sector comes under the DIPP. Kant also said that concerns of the industry with regard to the new emission norms and some provisions in the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) ordinance would be discussed with the respective secretaries of the departments.

“The concerns expressed by the industry...this ministry will convey that to the mines ministry and environment ministry. I will speak and write to secretaries to ensure that these (concerns) are addressed,” he added. Cement will become more expensive with excise duty being increased to Rs 1,000 per tonne from Rs 900 per tonne earlier in the Budget. Hurt by a Rs 100 per tonne excise duty hike in the budget on top of an increase in rail freight, cement makers are likely to increase retail prices by Rs 15-20 per bag soon.

Further the secretary said that cement industry should focus on increasing their growth rates to 15-20 per cent annually to help boost production in the country. He said that measures announced in the Budget to modernise infrastructure will further give a boost to the cement industry.
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