The Pakistani government is deferring two issues that had earlier caused a negative impact on the country’s cement industry: the axle load and documentation of sale over PKR50,000/t (US$321/t).
Two major issues – axle load and documentation of sale beyond PKR50,000/- (US$321/-) (the condition of submission of Computerised National Identity Card) are being deferred.
Axle load issue
Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has asked the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) to defer the implementation of axle load condition in a move to appease the agitating traders protesting against the government’s documentation drive. Soon after the direction of the prime minister, FWO deferred the implementation of the axle load policy on M-9 motorway for one year. The decision was taken at the request of the trader community. The industry believes this decision will ease the dispatch costs.
The government and traders have reached a deal by signing a 11-point agreement after which the traders announced to end a strike. The signed deal between the government and traders includes a three-month deferment of the requirement to submit a Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) on the purchase of cement to the minimum value of PKR50,000 and a reduction in tax rate from 1.5 to 0.5 per cent on turnover up to PKR100m. In addition the limit of electricity bills has been increased from PKR50,000/month to PKR100,000/month for registration of sales tax and exemption of 1000ft2 shop from registration of sales tax.
Construction of dam
Meanwhile, the start of construction of the Dasu dam will create domestic demand for cement manufacturers in the northern zone, another positive development. The Federal Cabinet has approved construction of the Dasu dam in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province to be started next month.