LAHORE: The prices of different brands of cement have been increased in retail markets by Rs10 to Rs15 per bag as the manufacturers have passed on the impact of additional taxes and duties announced in the budget.
The rates of cement, 50-kg bag, have been increased by Rs10-15 to Rs550-565 from Rs540-550 in different cities of northern region of the country, including provincial capital of Lahore.
According to market sources, earlier the cement prices were increased by Rs10-20 to Rs540-550 per 50kg bag after the announcement of enhanced Federal Excise Duty (FED) by 25 percent in the budget 2017-18.
They said that before the budget different companies’ cement bags were available in market at Rs525 to Rs530, which were jumped to Rs550 to Rs565 per 50kg bag in two phases, depending on their market value and demand.
Presently, there are three popular brands in Lahore market including DG Cement, Bestway Cement and Maple Leaf Cement. The rate of DG cement has been jumped to Rs565 while the Bestway cement and Maple Leaf Cement are now available in market for Rs550 per bag. The cement bags of other unknown brands are selling at Rs545 per 50kg bag but their demand is not so high, dealers said.
They said that the government had announced to increase FED by 25 percent on cement to Rs1.25/kg or Rs1,250/ton in federal budget for 2017-18. The increase in FED is second consecutive times, as the government had increased the cement price by Rs1 per kg in the last federal budget of 2016-17 too, affecting the common man who had limited resources for house building. The industry had suggested in its budget proposal that FBR should phase out the FED to encourage cement off take.
The cement industry was subject to FED at the rate of 5 percent of retail price and General Sales Tax at the rate of 17 percent of maximum retail price. These taxes account for about Rs100 per bag.