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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Builders want cement export tax

AN INDUSTRY body wants the government to slap an export tax of up to 20 per cent for cement to ensure adequate supply in the local market.

The construction industry faces higher cement prices as well as an acute cement shortage, Masters Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) said in a statement.

Removing the ceiling price will not sustain cement supply as cement manufacturers can still export their products overseas, MBAM president Patrick Wong said.

"MBAM strongly urges the government to also curb the exportation of clinker as this is also an important ingredient to produce cement," Wong added.

MBAM and The Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) also suggested that the government consider abolishing the 10 per cent import duty on cement.

"The rationale is that, if contractors were to import, they have to consider other expenses such as handling or transportation and shipping charges which still add to the cost of materials," Wong said.

Rehda said the move is counter-productive.

"The move will result in increasing cement prices by local manufacturers," president Ng Seing Liong said in a separate statement.

By New Straits Times

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