The South Indian Cement Manufacturers Association (SICMA) has called on Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to impose higher tariffs on the importation of clinker and cement into India to match neighboring countries which have imposed anti-dumping duties on the importation of cement from India into their countries. .
“South India has excess cement capacity but companies cannot export to neighboring countries. Meanwhile, India offers free access to cement from other countries. We therefore ask the Minister of Finance to impose higher tariffs for the importation of cement and clinker from other countries, ”a pre-budget memorandum submitted by SICMA chairman N Srinivasan to Sitharaman said on Friday. in Chennai.
In its representation, SICMA said that South India – with a capacity of 180 million tonnes per year (MPTA) – accounts for almost 40 percent of India’s cement production. Other regions of the country will face a cement production deficit in a few years. Some areas already are – northeast India often lacks cement.
“We ask the government to facilitate the movement of cement by providing either telescopic rail freight or some other method,” the memorandum said.
SICMA said that it needs the support of the government, as it will go a long way to promote and support the growth and development of the cement industry, which contributes significantly to the public treasury through various sources of income. The GST alone brings in about 30,000 crore per year to the Indian cement industry, the second largest in the world after China. It is also a great generator of jobs, both direct and indirect.
Hope for an expansionary budget
While commending the FM for announcing big infrastructure projects such as new road projects, extension of metro and freight corridors for South India in last year’s budget, SICMA has said he hoped the FM would once again present an expansionary budget for 2022-2023 with renewed interest in capital and infrastructure investments as the economic recovery gains traction and the economy is firmly placed on the way of growth.
An expansionary budget for 2022-2023 will boost demand generation and increase private consumption and restart the private investment cycle, he said.
He suggested that a working group be formed by the government to hold discussions with industry representatives, including SICMA, on industry requirements.