Prop up the cement sector

3 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

It is a cause for great concern that yet another construction material is becoming increasingly costly. According to a daily sun report, price of cement, a key construction material, has increased in the local market due to price hike of clinker in the international market. Bangladesh is almost entirely dependent on its import.

Apart from rising price of raw materials in the international market, a number of other factors such as increase in the cost of shipping and sudden boom in construction work across the world after the corona hiatus are also being attributed to the hike in cement price in local market.

Reportedly, the price of cement has already increased by around Tk 50-55 per sack in the local market. Worse still, the price of clinker continues to rise in the international market. So, it is likely that the market will remain volatile.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association expressed its concern over the continued rise in the price of raw materials in the international market. In a statement, BCMA said it was not possible to sell cement at reasonable prices due to Bangladesh’s dependency on import of raw materials for manufacturing cement and intense competition in the cement sector in the domestic market.

Rise in the cement price will definitely hurt individual consumers, but the state is likely to be hit hardest as the government is implementing a plethora of mega construction projects. If the price of cement price cannot be arrested at a reasonable level by taking subsidiary measures, the government will have to readjust the cost of its ongoing construction projects. Officials said one way to keep cement price reasonable is to cut down the additional tax imposed by the National Board of Revenue. Besides, the government can give direct subsidies to the manufacturers in the form of tax rebate or other policy support to tame the price of this basic construction material. All possible measures should be explored in order not to inflate the construction budget of individual to state level.