Govt to import more cement if required

New Delhi, Apr 26 | Updated: Apr 28 2008, 05:17am hrs
The government on Saturday said it would import more cement, if necessary, to address the demand-supply mismatch in the domestic market and check any rise in prices.

We have allowed cement import and already a substantial amount of 1.3 lakh tonne has arrived in the country from Pakistan. If further imports are necessary to address the demand-supply mismatch, it will be done, minister of state for industry Ashwani Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of a Ficci seminar here. Kumar, however, did not give the quantum of cement that would be imported. Trading firm MMTC is one of the firms designated to import the building material.

Besides looking at ways to increase the domestic production capacity of cement, Kumar said the government is engaging with cement producers to ensure there is no cartelisation in the sector.

While companies can make profits, profiteering will not be allowed, he said. The government had banned cement exports to boost domestic supplies and keep a check on rising prices.

Earlier, speaking at the Ficci seminar on intellectual property rights, Kumar said the government has allocated Rs 320 crore for modernisation and further strengthening of the intellectual property offices in the country.