Punjab government implements groundwater charge for cement producers

The government of the Punjab will charge cement producers in the state up to US$0.93/m3 for ground water used in their cement production. The Dawn newspaper has reported that the charge will depend on water availability, and be US$0.6/m3 in water secure areas, US$0.85/m3 in semi-critical areas and US$0.93/m3 in critical areas most affected by drought. The measure aims to encourage rainwater harvesting in order to preserve water tables. The charges will fall upon Maple Leaf Cement, Gharibwal Cement, Dandot Cement, Flying Cement, Askari Cement and Fauji Cement. They will remain in force until the establishment of a Punjab Water Services Regulatory Authority and its enactment of water extraction rates.