MBTs minimise cement export to India

MBTs minimise cement export to India

Indian authorities continued to discourage the entry of finished goods from Pakistan, as on average only one truck of Pakistani cement can cross Wagah border during the whole day while Indian Customs officials fully facilitate trucks carrying raw material, including gypsum.

Industry sources said that around 50 gypsum trucks enter India from Pakistan's side of the border daily, as no extra security checks apply to the import of this raw material from Pakistan. There is a huge demand of Pakistani cement in India and Pakistan has the capacity to export around 7 million tonne cement. They further added that the country exported 786,672 tonne to India during 2007-08, 634,456 tonne in 2008-09, 722,967 tonne in 2009-10, 320,230 tonne in 2010-11, and 605,435 tonne in 2011-12.The sources further added that only two interchanges established at Wagah-Attari border for crossing of railway wagons, which are working as non-tariff barrier against import from Pakistan, causing congestion of wagons at the Wagah border restricting further loading of cement at T-10.

Both Pakistani and Indian Railways had assigned limited number of railway wagons for transportation of cement, which is also hampering cement trade between the two countries, exposing the interests of Indian government to discourage the entry of finished goods from Pakistan.

Experts said that Pakistan's Customs officials should discourage gypsum exports from Pakistan so that India could automatically create space to increase cement imports from Pakistan with pressure from their importers and to fulfil domestic needs.

He mentioned that the trucks loaded with gypsum cost almost $50 to Indians, inclusive of all costs of transportation, handling and Customs clearance. According to experts, Indian Punjab's cement manufacturing units have also started, which is the main reason for the reduction in Pakistani cement imports. However, it is admitted that Pakistani cement is much better in quality as compared to Indian. They said that technically, only one truck moves in whole day to transport cement to India from Pakistan.

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