Smuggling of Iranian cement angers APCMA
- The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) demanded placing Iranian cement in negative list or dumping law should be invoked against it to help the local industry regain its share.
“The smuggling of cement from Iran in Balochistan is resulting in substantial losses to the national exchequer. The government has to take immediate steps to curb this menace and above mentioned demands from the industry is the right solution,” said a spokesman of APCMA.
He added that the average import of Iranian cement into Balochistan from March 15 to April 16 has been around 500 tonnes to 600 tonnes daily. Earlier, the quantities were around 1000 tonnes a day.
He said that rampant misdeclaration at the border had put local industry in difficult situation whereby it pays taxes and duties under third schedule in strict compliance to rules and regulations while the imported and smuggled cement enjoys huge advantage.
“For example, two road trailers bearing registration numbers TLZ-797 and TKV-793 entered Pakistan via Taftan border on April 16th and they were carrying 105 and 52 tons cement, respectively. But the tax was paid on 90 and 45 tons only,” added the spokesman. “All this is being done through collusion of the dealers with the Customs department officials and transporters. The import quantity on the customs’ goods declaration form was understated as well.”
On the other hand, the local cement industry besides providing employment opportunities to thousands of workers throughout the country as well as royalties and taxes on raw materials used in cement manufacturing pays approximately Rs 2,000 per tonne to national exchequer in form of excise duty and sales tax.
“The illegal import of cement from Iran is detrimental to cement sector of the country and has further raised the concerns of cement industry as on one hand the idle capacity is increasing due to foreign imports and on the other the prices in different markets are being badly affected due to tax evasions and mis-declarations,” he added.
The spokesman said that with the increase in sales of local brands in Balochistan capacity utilisation of the local industry would be increased and accordingly the government would get more taxes in the form of excise duty and sales tax.
“The government should therefore place the Iranian cement under negative list or dumping law should be invoked against it to help the local industry regain its share,” he suggested.
Publish date : Sunday 17 May 2015 19:12
Story Code: 24514