LAHORE - All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has asked the government to avoid disruptive policies that impact construction growth in the country as the cement industry growth in directly linked to speedy execution of infrastructure projects in the country.

“Industry hopes that the slow growth in domestic consumption in September 2016 is a one off phenomenon, triggered by the new property valuation policy of the government. It expects the domestic consumption will pick up once the valuation issue is settled or factored in by the investors,” the APCMA spokesman said.

The association urged the government to take further measures to encourage domestic construction sector which is the main source of employment to the non-skilled workforce of the country. According to data released by APCMA, during the first quarter of current fiscal year, the cement industry has posted a growth of 9.50 percent in local despatches compared with local despatches during first quarter of last fiscal year. Exports also recorded a growth of 3.03 percent compared with exports during the first quarter of last year. The overall situation during first quarter of current fiscal year showed an 8.33 percent growth compared to the same period of last fiscal year.

During first quarter - July-September 2016 - the cement industry despatched 8.976 million tons of cement, while during the corresponding period of July-September 2015 the total despatches were 8.286 million tons. Capacity utilisation during the first quarter of this fiscal is 79%, an increase of 7% compared with corresponding period last year.

The APCMA spokesman said that domestic despatches in September 2016 were 2.536m tons registering a growth of 2pc while the exports amounted to 0.523m tons reflecting growth of 11.79 percent, compared to Sept2015.

Total cement despatches in September amounted to 3.059 million tons depicting a growth of 3.55 percent.