New Delhi: The government on14 August said it has received 15 applications so far from Pakistan seeking license from Bureau of Indian Standards to export cement to India.
“These applications are at different stages of processing in the Bureau of Indian Standards. The cement to be imported from Pakistan cannot be quantified at this stage and will be open to market forces,” Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
The BIS Certification Marks License is mandatory for any cement to be imported into India.
Pakistan’s cement manufacturers have evinced interest to export cement to India. India has agreed to expedite the process of importing cement and put on fast track completion of certification formalities. India is facing a shortage of 10 million tonnes of the raw material and Pakistan can bridge this gap given its surplus stocks.
In 2006-07, production of cement by large plants stood at 155.66 million tonnes, registering a growth of 9.77% over the previous year. Capacity utilisation in the cement industry was 94% during 2006-07, while it was 98% during the first quarter of this year.
As per the Cement Manufacturers’ Association, the average price of cement has increased from Rs158 per bag in December 2005 to Rs229 per bag in July 2007.