KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) has deplored the unusual hike in cement and steel prices, urging the government to safeguard the advantages envisioned in the prime minister’s initiative for the construction sector.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, FPCCI Vice President Nasir Khan raised concerns over the sharp increase in cement and steel prices, saying that this would nullify the incentives offered by the government under its fixed tax regime for the construction industry.
He said cement and steel were the main raw materials for the construction industry, highlighting that the price of cement has surged Rs500–Rs700 per bag, whereas that of steel prices has jumped to Rs145,000 per tonne.
“This will have a negative impact on the prime minister’s low-cost housing scheme, besides damaging the government’s efforts to strengthen the national economy.”
Khan said the unusual hike in cement and steel prices was totally unjustified as most of the raw materials were locally available. He urged the government to waive at least for three months custom duties on the import of cement and steel so that benefits of the fixed tax regime could be availed.