: The South India Cement Manufacturers’ Association (SICMA), has urged the Centre to facilitate movement of cement in the country by providing a telescopic railway freight service to take the commodity from surplus areas to deficit regions.
Association President N Srinivasan, also the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of The India Cements Ltd, during his recent brief interaction with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the city, highlighted some areas that required the support of her ministry, which would go a long way in promoting and sustaining the development of the cement industry.
South India, with 180 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MPTA) capacity accounts for almost 40 per cent of the India’s cement production and 35-40 per cent of limestone was also found in the southern parts of the country.
At this rate, in a few years, the commodity would be scarce in North, Central and East India, while South India would carry a huge surplus, SICMA said.
“We request the Government to facilitate movement (of cement) from surplus Southern states to deficit regions by providing telescopic railway freight”, SICMA said.
Srinivasan also pointed out that the Ministry imposes higher duty for import of clinker and cement and that South India, with its large limestone deposits, has excess capacity.
However, cement makers were unable to export to neighboring countries because they have imposed anti-dumping duties on cement imported from India, whereas India was providing free access to the domestic market for cement from other countries.
“We, therefore, request the Finance Minister to impose higher duty for import of clinker and cement”, he said.
SICMA suggested to the Minister that the Government could constitute a working group for holding discussions with industry representatives, including SICMA, on the points mentioned.
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