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SICMA seeks imposition of duty on cement and clinker imports

BL Chennai Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 25, 2021

N Srinivasan, MD, India Cements, meets Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister, in Chennai

Seek logistics support from government to reach north-east market

South Indian Cement Manufacturers’ Association (SICMA) has requested the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to impose higher duty on the import of clinker and cement into India to match neighbouring countries that have slapped anti-dumping duties on import of cement from India into their countries.

“South India has excess cement capacity but companies are unable to export to neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, India is providing free access to cement from other countries. We therefore request the Finance Minister to impose higher duty for import of cement and clinker from other countries,” said a pre-budget memorandum submitted by President of SICMA, N Srinivasan, to Sitharaman in Chennai on Friday.

In its representation, SICMA said South India — with 180 million tonnes per annum (MPTA) capacity — accounts for almost 40 per cent of India’s cement production. Other parts of the country will face a deficit in cement production in a few years’ time. Some regions already are — north-east India is often short of cement.

“We request the government to facilitate movement of cement by providing either telescopic railway freight or some other method,” the memorandum said.

Industry contribution

SICMA stated that it required the support of the Government as it will go a long way in promoting and sustaining the growth and development of the cement industry, which makes significant contributions to the exchequer through various revenue sources. GST alone fetches about ₹30,000 crore annually from the Indian cement industry, the second largest in the world after China. It is also a big employment generator, both direct and indirect.

Hope for expansionary budget

While complimenting the FM for announcing big ticket infra projects such as new road projects, extension of metro rail and freight corridors for south India in last year’s budget, SICMA said it is hopeful that the FM will present again an expansionary budget for 2022-23 with a renewed thrust on investing in capital assets and infrastructure as the economic recovery is gaining ground and the economy is firmly placed on a growth path.

An expansionary budget for 2022-23 will give fillip to demand generation and increased private consumption and revive private investment cycle, it felt.

It suggested that a working group be constituted by the government for holding discussions with industry representatives including SICMA on the requirements of the industry.

Published on December 25, 2021
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