Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, held a meeting with the representatives of Cement Manufacturers at the Finance Division.
Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiar, Secretary M/o Industries & Production, Secretary Finance Division and other senior officers participated in the meeting.
Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production briefed the participants about the prevailing Cement prices. He also drew a comparison about changes in the price of Cement per bag over the last three years particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He also highlighted the important role being played by the Cement industry in stimulating economic growth during testing times.
In his remarks, the Finance Minister underscored the importance of Cement as a building block of the Construction Industry. He lauded the valuable contribution of the Cement industry which has triggered a V-shape economic recovery during the Coronavirus pandemic in the country. He also underlined various stimulus measures taken by the Government to support the Construction industry that led to a strong rebound in economic activity during the ongoing pandemic, he added.
While speaking on the occasion, the Finance Minister stressed the need to provide industrial inputs such as Cement and Steel at affordable prices to carry forward the momentum of economic recovery amid COVID-19 as well as in the post-COVID-19 scenario. He emphasized to reduce the prices of Cement as the Cement industry is of paramount importance due to its backward and forward integration with the Construction sector as a whole.
The representatives of Cement Manufacturers also presented their perspective on the occasion. They were of the view that the recent escalation in the prices of Cement is driven by the rise in input costs. Also, the overall profitability in the Cement sector is still the lowest as compared to other countries in the region.
In his concluding remarks, the Finance Minister urged the representatives of the Cement Manufacturers to hold a consultative session with relevant stakeholders and present a firmed-up proposal regarding sustainable pricing mechanism for the Cement sector in order to boost the overall Construction Industry by providing industrial inputs at a reasonable cost.
The Finance Minister affirmed full support and facilitation to the Cement Industry on the occasion.