UNB, Khulna Cement factories in the Khulna region are on the verge of closure due to manifold problems including high production cost. Sources said there are total 17 cement factories in the region. Of them, 13 are in Maowapara and four in Mongla. Of the total, seven cement factories have already stopped production while the rest are staggering as production cost of cement is increasing fast due to shortage and price hike of clinker and high transport fare. The factories that stopped production are incurring a huge loss and its hundreds of employees and workers have become unemployed. Authorities of the cement factories said each factory used to produce 7,000 to 8,000 sacks of cement daily two years back but now it reduced to 3,000 to 4,000 due to scarcity of raw materials. The authorities are importing per ton clinker from Russia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand at US$ 65/66 against US$ 26 in 2003. Official sources said there has a high demand of Bangladeshi cement in India but there are some barriers in exporting cement there. The closed cement factories can resume production if necessary measures are taken immediately to remove the various hurdles, the sources said.