SICMA urges FM Sitharaman to increase tariffs on cement and clinker imports

The South Indian Cement Manufacturers Association (SICMA) has called on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to impose higher import duties for clinker and cement in India in the upcoming budget.

Representatives of the association met with Sitharaman and said Indian manufacturers are unable to export to neighboring countries as they have imposed anti-dumping duties on cement from India, while India is offering free access to imports.

“South India, with its large limestone deposits, has excess cement capacity. We therefore call on the Minister of Finance to impose higher import duties for the import of clinker and cement, ”said N Srinivasan, President of SICMA. Sitharaman had met on Friday with representatives of various industry associations in Tamil Nadu, including micro and small enterprises, textiles, cement, looms, hotels and poultry, and industrial chambers in Chennai.

The Association in its representation had indicated that the region contributes 40 percent or 180 million tonnes per year (MTPA) of the country’s total cement capacity. “About 35-40% of the limestone is also found in southern India. Other parts of the country, such as northern, central and eastern India, will experience a cement production deficit in a few years. Therefore, we call on the government to facilitate the movement of cement from the surplus southern state to the deficit area, either by providing either telescopic rail freight or some other method, ”the association said in its statement. .

The cement industry contributes around Rs 30,000 crore to the treasury per year in the form of a tax on goods and services. According to SICMA, when it met, the onset of the second wave and unprecedented rains across the country for a longer period of time affected hopes for a better budget last year for the cement industry.

“We fervently hope that with the economic recovery gaining traction and the economy firmly placed on the path to growth, you will again present an expansionary budget for 2022-2023 with new impetus on investment in fixed assets and infrastructure projects to stimulate the generation of demand and increase private consumption and relaunch the private investment cycle “.

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