Displaying items by tag: Tax
Pakistan: The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to exclude cement from the 'Third schedule' of the Sales Tax act or to fix the maximum retail price (MRP) on the basis of two different zones in the upcoming budget of 2014 - 2015.
In a letter to the FMR chairman the APCMA said, that as the dynamics of every province and region are different, collection of sales tax on the basis of a single MRP across the country would force producers to restrict sales to nearby markets. It added that this would restrict sales to further-away markets reducing the potential revenues the FBR could collect.
The APCMA has proposed a zone-based MRP to protect both local consumers from paying excess prices and producers from paying more to sell cement in outlying markets. It also asked the FBR to introduce a uniform tax rate for the corporate sector.
Cement in Pakistan is subject to various taxes including: Corporate Income Tax - 34% of taxable income; Minimum tax – 1% of turnover; Federal excise duty (FED) – US$3.8/t; and Sales Tax 17% of the MRP. The APCMA has also proposed removing the FED and reducing the duty on alternative fuels to zero. Further suggestions included restoring the initial allowance on plants and machinery to 50% (from 25% at present) to encourage production capacity development and reducing import taxes on raw materials and capital goods for industrial development from 5 to 1%.
Spain: Cemex has said that it 'complies scrupulously with all legal and tax obligations in Spain,' in response to reports in the Spanish media about its tax affairs in the country. The company 'does not have any debts outstanding or face any penalties from the Spanish tax service as of this time,' said Cemex. The Mexico-based cement producer has reserved the right to take legal action against anyone publishing inaccurate reports about the company.
Cemex issued the statement following reports in the Spanish media about the firing of a tax inspector for rejecting its appeal of a large penalty. The dismissal led to the resignation of the head of the department overseeing large taxpayers. Subsequently, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria denied that Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro had any relationship with Cemex's tax advisers before taking up his Cabinet post.
India: Indian Railways has raised a freight tariff of 15% on all commodities, including cement, from 1 October 2013. Designated a busy season charge in a railway notification, the tariff is due to run until June 2014. The charge precedes a review of the fuel adjustment component (FAC), applicable after every six months to adjust fuel prices, that was also due on 1 October 2013.
Turkmenistan: Cement imports to Turkmenistan will have to pay a 100% customs duty starting on 1 August 2013, according to the Turkmenistan.ru news portal. The resolution was signed by President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov in order to support domestic production and to streamline the import of cement. A minimum customs import duty of US$200/t will be imposed.
The Mineral Products Association (MPA), which looks after the interests of the cement industry (and other allied industries) in the UK, has said that it welcomes a temporary tax-freeze relating to climate change announced in the UK Budget of 20 March 2013. The MPA singled out the decision to freeze the indexation of the Aggregates Levy until April 2014 and the decision to introduce the Climate Change Levy mineralogical and metallurgical exemption for energy-intensive industries such as cement and lime. Both of these moves by UK Chancellor George Osborne have been welcomed because they bring some relief to the UK cement industry and wider construction activities. MPA members make money from such activites and any potential cost that can be eliminated or delayed, even for a short time, is welcome amid the current slump that is the UK economy. This is especially true as the UK weathers the one of the longest and most severe winters for 50 years. So far, so much sense.
However, how does this reaction to the Climate Change Levy exemption tie in with the MPA's February 2013 announcement that it thinks that the UK cement industry's total CO2 emissions should be reduced by 81% by 2050? What should UK cement producers make of this? The MPA's cement industry CO2 reduction targets are certainly bold. On the face of it, they look achievable given the progress that has been made to date by the UK cement industry, although much is left to the imagination as to which areas could and should contribute most to the reduction target. The 81% reduction target includes the successful future commercial development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. It also relies on an increased proportion of renewable sources for the electricity that the cement industry will receive in 2050, something else that is totally out of the industry's control.
However, much hard work has already been done by cement companies in the UK. As in other EU countries and developed nations, total dust and toxic emissions have fallen dramatically in the UK cement industry since 1990. The country's alternative fuel substitution rate has now hit ~40%. Yet, as the MPA highlights in its document detailing the targets for 2050, much of the low-hanging fruit has already been taken. Further reduction in overall CO2 emissions will be significantly affected by both regulations and cement company progress. Cement companies can increase their consumption of 'wastes' and fit waste-heat recovery systems. Through such measures they can achieve further reductions in emissions. Some kilns have hit alternative fuel substitution rates of 100% for limited periods and examples from the near continent show that 80% alternative fuels can be the norm. However, unlike these 'bottom-up' approaches, which can be introduced at a plant in a period of months, regulations take years to evolve and come into force, often involving slow and lengthly debate by politicians, associations and consumers.
To discourage the government from seeking to impose stricter environmental regulations for the cement industry by welcoming the exemption, is the MPA undercutting its own calls to reduce CO2 emissions in the UK cement industry? From a cement producer's perspective, it looks like the MPA could hold two contradictory opinions on the same subject: that you can welcome reductions in climate regulation while also calling for stricter emissions regulations. This phenomenon was famously termed 'double think' by George Orwell in his classic novel '1984,' but the MPA's situation is far more subtle. Often the regulators and those being regulated can agree on the same target but not on how that target should be reached. The next 37 years will show whether or not this target is even possible.
UK: The Minerals Products Association (MPA) has welcomed measures in the UK government's 2013 budget that will help boost the outlook for the cement industry and the wider mineral products and construction sectors. The MPA singled out the decision to freeze the indexation of the Aggregates Levy until April 2014 and the decision to introduce the Climate Change Levy mineralogical and metallurgical exemption for energy intensive industries such as cement and lime.
"The government is clearly listening and understands that investing in infrastructure and construction is key to securing growth. The issue remains of ensuring that cash flows into action on the ground to help improve confidence and induce private sector investment, which is needed to accelerate growth in demand," said Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA.
Nigeria: Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has announced plans to create a new tariff on imported bulk cement. The move follows the alleged cement 'glut' surrounding a dispute between importer Ibeto Cement and leading producer Dangote Cement in late 2012. The current duty on imported bulk cement is 10% but no levy is imposed on the commodity.
At a meeting on Nigerian business competitiveness organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Aganga said that there was no basis for importing cement clinker since Nigeria has a cement production capacity of 28.6Mt/yr. He also stated that at no time did he issue any import permit for bulk cement in 2012.
India: A 4% rise in the entry tax on clinker in the Indian state of Assam has riled local cement producers. In the state budget, chief minister Tarun Gogoi had proposed to raise the entry tax on clinker from 2% to 6%, applicable only to small and medium units.
Industry sources quoted by the Telegraph of India said the proposal to raise the entry tax would adversely affect small grinding units in the state. "Given the budget proposal, there is an apprehension that the small units might not be able to bear the additional cost burden and become unviable," said a source.
The total procurement of clinker from outside Assam is estimated at 1.8Mt/yr, of which 24 small units procure 475,000/t. The source added that these units had invested US$74m in the state, employing over 3000 people directly or indirectly.
However, two large cement manufacturers - Cement Manufacturing Company Ltd (Star Cement, CMAL) and Meghalaya Cement Ltd (Topcem, MCL) - have been exempted from the tax. CMCL and MCL have units at Sonapur and Amingaon in Assam respectively. The source added that these large units had invested up to US$92m in the state, creating jobs for about 600 people.
"The government has accorded mega project status to large cement manufacturers, exempting them from entry tax, but imposed the same on small units. This is contrary to its vision of development," said Dilip Goenka, director of KD Cement.
Egypt: Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Eng. Hatem Saleh has said that the ministry is considering imposing of a levy on cement exports due to 'unjustifiable' increases in cement prices on the local market. In a press statement the Saleh added that cement prices had increased by 66% due to a 'remarkable' deficit in cement quantities.
Saleh pointed out that the 'exaggerated' price rises were 'inconsistent' with the recent increase of energy prices for cement plants imposed by the government. He said that the energy rise only represented up to 18% of the price increase seen. Saleh stressed that the Egyptian government will not ignore any manipulation of prices that add further burdens for consumers.
India: The Indian Cement Manufacturers' Association (CMA) has demanded a reduction in the excise duty for building materials from 12% to 6-8% in the next Indian Union Budget.
"To encourage cement industry and to bring it at par with other core and infrastructure industries, the excise duty rate be rationalised from 12% to 6-8%," said the CMA in a budget memorandum to the Finance Ministry. The CMA added that the excise duty rates on cement are amongst the highest, beaten only by the rates on luxury goods such as cars. It admitted that the Indian industry suffers from an 'excess of surplus capacity'.
"The levies and taxes on cement in India are far higher compared to those in countries of the Asia Pacific Region. Average tax on cement in the Asia Pacific Region is just 11.4%, with the highest levy of 20% being in Sri Lanka," said the CMA. According to the CMA the Indian cement industry had a production capacity of around 340Mt/yr in March 2012.
The CMA also pitched the idea of levying basic customs duty on imports of cement. Alternatively, it suggested that the import duties on goods required for manufacture of cement be abolished.
At present, the import of cement into India is freely allowed without having to pay basic customs duty. However, all the major inputs required for manufacturing cement - such as a limestone, gypsum, petcoke - attract customs duty.