Concerned over the rising inflation, which touched 7.41 per cent, the government on Friday decided to ban export of cement.
The export is being banned to take care of mismatch between supply and demand of cement, Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath told reporters here.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) will issue a notification to ban the export later in the day, official sources said.
The cement companies earlier in the month raised prices by 3 to 4 per cent citing reasons such as hike in value added tax, rising demand and soaring fuel prices.
The decision to ban export of cement comes soon after the government, in the annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), announced withdrawal of export incentives on cement in addition to rice and primary steel items.
"We are also withdrawing the incentives under promotion schemes on export of cement and primary steel items", he said earlier, while unveiling the annual supplement.
Reacting to the proposal, JK Cement Group Executive President R G Bagla said, "This ban will hardly affect the industry as the country exports less than two per cent of the total production (around 170 million tonnes a year)."
The ban on export of cement is aimed at containing inflation, which has more than doubled since January 2008. For the week ended March 29, the annual rate of inflation shot up to 7.41 per cent touching the 40-month high level.