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Cement makers seek end of ban on export.

Cement Makers Seek End of Ban on Export

Cement makers want to re-enter the field of export provided the ban on export of this commodity is lifted by the Government with immediate effects, industry sources said. Certain mill owners are reported to have approached the Government to lift the ban on cement export and allow 25 per cent rebate on exports.

Sources said that cement industry was now in a position to enter the export market side by side meeting the local demand, specially in view of the current balance of payments crisis caused by the Gulf war. They claimed that the country had already attained self-sufficiency in cement production and there was no need for any cement imports. They pointed out that Pakistan had signed an agreement with Bangladesh last year for the supply of a complete clinker and grinding cement plant to that country. The plant first, to be exported by Pakistan would be designed engineering and manufactured at Heavy Mechanical Comlex, Taxila for Bangladesh.

The demand for cement in 1990-91 is estimated at 9.663 million tonnes, while production will be around 7,485 million tonnes, leaving a gap of 2,178 million tonnes. The State Cement Corporation of Pakistan (SCCP) signed a deal with a Danish firm last year for the supply of a 300,000 tonne capacity cement plant to be set with the assistance of the World Bank at Wah, costing about Rs. 2,114 billion. The plant is expected to go into production within three years. The World Bank has already approved a loan to cover is foreign exchange component. About 56 per cent of machinery and equipment would be locally fabricated, while the rest would be imported from Denmark.

The other unit, would be set at Nizampur, Nowshera district (NWFP), with a designed capacity of 686,400 tonnes per annum at an estimated cost of Rs. 2,220 billion including a foreign exchange component of Rs. 7,727 million. Local financial institutions are providing foreign currency loan. Cement production in 1989-90 was recorded at 7,488 million tonnes, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics.

Cement industry in the country has been divided into two zones, 'south zone' consists of ares south of Multan, 'north' comprises rest of the country including Azad Kashmir. The expected demand of cement in the north zone is 5,982 million tonnes, while production is 3,466 million tonnes per annum. In south zone, demand is estimated at 3,681 million tonnes, while production is expected to rise to 4,019 million tonnes.

Though cement production in Pakistan has increased from 5,773 million tonnes in 1985-86 to present 7,485 million tonnes, and the number of cement factories over the same period has increased from 17 to 25, the countrywide demand has kept ahead of production.
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Title Annotation:Business Opinion
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Feb 1, 1991
Previous Article:Freedom given to Pak Steel in pricing of products slated.
Next Article:Objectives of Gulf war.

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