New Delhi: The government has put the process of certification of foreign cement manufacturers on a fast track to facilitate import of the building material in the country to meet the growing demand and tame prices.
“Though demand for cement in the country has been increasing, there are supply side constraints. The Bureau of Indian Standards would now be granting certification to foreign cement manufacturers within two months,” Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Ajay Dua said on the sidelines of a CII seminar on 26 July.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has a scheme to certify foreign manufacturers to sell their cement in the country.
“...previously the certification process took a long time,” he said.
For expediting the process, the BIS has formed a separate cell and deployed more people on the job. Earlier only manufacturers from Bangladesh and Bhutan had applied for certification but they did not have enough capacities to meet the demand-supply mismatch in India.
Now big manufacturers from Pakistan have also applied for certification and with increased availability, prices of cement are expected to soften, Dua said.
The demand for cement in India is growing at 10-12% while the addition in capacity has been much lower.
He said there has been demand from the builders and state governments that cement import norms be eased, allowing the commodity to enter India easily.
The government has already brought down the import duty and countervailing duty on cement to zero. But due to long drawn BIS certification procedures, not much commodity was able to enter the market.