Lahore: The All Pakistan Cement Association (APCMA) has urged the government to reduce the sales tax on cement by 2% in the upcoming federal budget, according to a news source. This will bring the rate down from 17% to 15%.
APCMA Chairman Azam Faruque recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Adviser on Revenue and Finance Hafeez Sheikh, in which he requested this decrease. Additionally, he suggested that the government should reduce the sales tax gradually by 2% every year until it reached the 10% mark – at least for government mega-projects. These projects include dams, the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP), and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative.
Faruque further stated that compared to other countries, the current tax rate of 17% was quite high. He opined that if this sales tax were reduced, it would prove very beneficial for the end consumer.
He also requested that customs duty on coal and pet coke should be reduced to zero at the import stage for industrial use.
Another suggestion he put forward was that the import duties on cement and clinker should be set at a uniform rate of 35% to encourage the local cement industry; seeing as these materials are abundant in Pakistan. He also called for maintaining existing credit lines to encourage local production and job creation in the cement industry.