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December 13, 2019

14 applications for setting up cement plants pending

Lahore

December 13, 2019

LAHORE

Out of 16 applications for the installation of new cement plants and extension in existing one in the five districts of Punjab, including Attock, DG Khan, Mianwali, Khushab and Chakwal, 14 are pending with different provincial departments, including local government, mines and minerals and others while two are incomplete and other applicants are asked to complete required documentation. However, due to inconducive investment environment the investors and applicants are not ready to make huge investments in cement manufacturing industry and will hold the NOCs with them for conducive investment climate time, the industry officials revealed.

The different existing cement manufacturers and some new players applied for the NOC with the industry department Punjab for getting permission for the installation of new cement factories in the five districts of the province. But approval was not granted as the industry department sent the applications to departments concerned for their nods before granting the NOCs to the applicants.

In this regard, a meeting to review investment in cement industry and installation of new cement plants in the province was chaired by Punjab Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal Thursday in which matter of delay was discussed.

The officials who attended the meeting disclosed that the industry department officials briefed the ministers that applications were pending with allied departments, including local government, environment, mines and minerals and others which approval was also required before granting the NOC by the industry department to the applicants. However, these departments are working on snarl speed to proceed the work. The minister instructed the industry department officials to fix a meeting with the secretaries of departments concerned within a week in order to get update on issues faced by them in approving the new cement plants installations.

According to a communiqué issued stated that chairing the meeting, the minister said that ban on cement industry was lifted after a gap of 12 years so that the sector could flourish and augment the industrial sector. However, the minister was annoyed that many months’ time was spent for acquiring the NOC for setting up new industries and asked the line departments to come up fully prepared in the next meeting. The special handling cell has been set up in industries department to deal with the installation of cement plants.

He informed that focal persons of line departments would be included in the cell and obtaining of NOC would be made easy so as to facilitate the investors. He directed the line departments to work in an organised manner and directed that industries department should develop an App for submitting applications of setting up cement plants. The departments concerned would be responsible for completing their work within the timeline. The minister stressed that latest technology should be utilised for setting up cement plants that use minimum water. Facilitating the investors is the responsibility of the line departments and any impediment in this regard will not be tolerated, the minister warned.