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Cement makers sniff double-digit growth

New Delhi, Oct. 3 (PTI): The Cement Manufacturers’ Association today said it expects a double digit growth in the current fiscal, even though half-yearly growth rate stood at 9 per cent.

“We expect a double digit growth for the current fiscal as the demand trend is healthy,” president T. M. M. Nambiar told reporters at the sidelines of CMA’s 41st annual session here.

Stating the on-going highway and rural roads development programme, housing projects would boost demand for cement, he said, “The demand would further increase in days ahead”.

On the problems facing the industry, Nambiar said, “Import duty on coal still continues to be very high. A large number of imported finished goods have lower rate of import duty compared with coal.” He also highlighted the multiple tax burden which the industry bears and urged government to “take appropriate steps to remove all constraints and provide a healthy environment for the growth of the industry”.

On the trend of rising power tariffs, Nambiar said, “This will increase production costs as well as affect industry’s global competitiveness”. The industry has to shoulder the burden of inefficiency due to transmission and distribution, subsidise power to other sectors as well as power thefts, he added.

The cement industry still faces problems in using full capacity created for captive power plants, he said adding, “we hope a fair tariff system will be evolved which will result in all categories of power consumers sharing the burden of cost in a fair and equitable manner”.

On the Indian cement industry’s export potential, Nambiar said, “We are in a position to raise exports significantly provided we address the issue of multiplicity of taxes and the inefficiency of the ports”.

He emphasised on the planned development of ports with bulk material handling facilities for cement and clinker.

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