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Pakistan to start cement export by August end
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Pakistan to start cement export by August end

Pakistan Commerce Secretary Syed Asif Shah said on Friday that cement exports to Indian would start by the end of August.

New Delhi, Aug 3 : Pakistan Commerce Secretary Syed Asif Shah said on Friday that cement exports to Indian would start by the end of August.

Shah said India had agreed to accept third party quality validation of their imports at secretary-level talks held on Thursday.

"We have discussed third party validation which is also possible and can be accepted. Testing procedures for three cement factories are complete now, where your authorities have visited and taken samples. It takes about three weeks for the samples to be tested fully," he told Indian businessmen at a meeting here.

"We have been assured that by the end of August cement will start coming in at least from these three factories which have been cleared... and three more which are in the pipeline can also probably make it two weeks after that," he added.

Last month, a senior Indian official said the government was planning to ease import rules to bridge the cement demand-supply gap and rein in prices.

Pakistan has an annual production capacity of 37-38 million tonnes, while it consumes 22-25 million tonnes, Shah said.

He said local firms were looking to raise capacity to 45 million tonnes by 2009 to meet higher demand and step up exports.

Shah also said that Pakistan has no plans to resume exports of wheat, and does not intend to import sugar now that the new cane crop has been harvested.

"We don't have any wheat to export right now. What we have is going to be maintained as our strategic reserve," he said.

ANI

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