SICMA submit memorandum to Nirmala, raises cement industry concerns

Insight Online News

Chennai, Dec 25 : South Indian Cement Manufacturers’ Association ( SICMA) President and India Cements Vice-Chairman and MD N.Srinivasan met Union Finance Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman and urged her to impose higher import duty for import of clinker and cement”.

Mr Srinivasan presented a memorandum highlighting a few areas concerning the cement industry and for considering while presenting the budget for 2022-23.

In the memorandum submitted to the Minister yesterday and the copies of which were released to UNI here today, Mr Srinivasan said South India with 180 million tonnes per annum (MPTA) capacity accounts for almost 40 per cent of India’s cement production. Also, 35 to 40 per cent of limestone

was found in South India.

He said other parts of the country, viz., North, Central and East India will become deficit in cement production in a few years. Some regions are already deficit in cement production.

“Today there is a spectre of shortage of cement in North, central and East India. North India is perennially short of cement, while there is huge surplus capacity and availability of cement in South India”, he said, adding, at this rate, in a few years, the country will suffer for want of cement in North, Central and East India while South India will carry huge surplus”.

In this context, Mr Srinivasan, on behalf of SICMA, requested the Union government to facilitate movement from the surplus Southern States to deficit regions by providing either telescopic railway freight or some other method”.

He also said that South India, with its large limestone deposits, has excess cement capacity.

“However, we are unable to export because our neighbour countries have imposed anti-dumping duties on cement import from India, whereas we are providing free access to our market for cement from other countries”, he said and requested the Finance Minister to impose higher import duty for import of clinker and cement”.

He also suggested that the Government may constitute a working group for holding discussions with industry representatives, including SICMA, on these issues.aforesaid points”.

In its representation, SICMA said “the Finance Minster will appreciate the significant contribution to the exchequer by the cement industry through various revenue sources, GST alone contributing about Rs 30,000 crores annually. Our cement industry, which is the second largest in the world after China, is also a big employment generator, both direct and indirect”.

According to SICMA sources, during his meeting, Mr. Srinivasan told her that FM presented a path-breaking Budget of Rs 34.83 lakh crore for 2021-22 without fixation on containing the fiscal deficit

but to stimulate growth and give further push to capital expenditure and public spending. For the first time, the Budget envisaged a 34 per cent increase in capital expenditure at Rs 5.44 lakh crore.

SICMA also referred to the announcements made by her in the budget like big ticket infra projects

for South like new road projects, extension of metro rails and freight corridors.

Pointing out that the outbreak of second wave and the unprecedented rains across the country for a longer period upset the high hopes raised by the budget in boosting cement demand, Mr Srinivasan said “it is our fervent hope that with the economic recovery gaining ground and the economy firmly placed on growth path, you will present again an expansionary budget for 2022-23 with renewed thrust on investing in capital assets and infrastructure projects so as to give fillip to demand generation and increased private consumption and revive the private investment cycle”.

UNIINDIA

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