Cement grinders are concerned about the escalating costs of their raw materials and have requested the government to rationalise taxes.
Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association (BCMA) said in a statement on Tuesday the import costs of cement raw materials are already 10% higher now and are on a rising trend.
The local cement industry depends on imported raw materials and clinker, the key material that now costs $46 per tonne, which was $42 earlier.
Half of the cost escalation is because of the rise in clinker production cost and the rest is attributed to increased freight charges.
Clinker plants need to burn coal and China, due to its boost in economic activities, is importing more coal, which already has doubled the coal price to $82 per tonne in the international market.
BCMA President Alamgir Kabir said many countries have resumed development work while the demand for construction materials is on the rise, and so is that for raw materials.
Bangladeshi companies are facing pressure to raise the prices of finished goods, but the extreme competition in the local market barely allows prices to be increased, said Alamgir, also the vice-chairman of top cement exporter Crown Cement.
His association has requested the government to allow them some space for profitability through rationalisation of the tax burden so that cement remains affordable to middle-income people, keeping the wheel of development rolling.
The BCMA said if the National Board of Revenue brings the existing high taxes down, cement sales would grow and offset the effects of tax reduction.
Their demand also includes eliminating double taxation and reducing import duty to Tk250 from Tk500 per tonne.