N Srinivasan, VC-MD, India Cements and President of South Indian Cement Manufacturers’ Association (SICMA), who met the FM in Chennai on Friday presented a pre-Budget Memorandum to her, highlighting a few areas that required the support of Government and which will go a long way in promoting and sustaining the growth and development of the cement industry.
In the representation, SICMA said the cement industry has been making a significant contribution through various revenue sources with GST alone accounting for about Rs 30,000 cr annually. “Our cement industry, which is the second largest in the world after China, is also a big employment generator, both direct and indirect,” it said.
Srinivasan also suggested that a telescopic freight or any other transportation facility would ease up the movement of surplus cement in the south to deficit regions.
In his one-on-one meeting with the FM, Srinivasan voiced the concern of SICMA on India providing free access to the domestic market for cement import from other countries and urged her to impose higher duty on import of clinker and cement. SICMA highlighted that south with 180 million tonnes per annum (MPTA) capacity accounted for almost 40% of India’s cement production. Incidentally, close to 40 pc of limestone is found in this region. The threat of cement shortage in the near future in other regions could be mitigated by using innovative transport facilitation and leveraging south’s excess capacity.
On her part, Sitharaman assured that she would examine the areas highlighted in the memorandum. She also asked SICMA to present a detailed note to facilitate movement of the surplus cement by Railways.