Bag cement cost is Rs 180, but firms sell at Rs 330
Builders' Association of India (BAI) has complained on July 13 that cement companies were still continuing cartelisation of prices even after Competition Commission of India (CCI) penalising some of them.BAI sought the government's intervention in this regard and said it will raise the issue at the highest level soon.
In a statement issued in Chennai, BAI said that while it is happy that CCI has taken action to penalise (some) cement companies, it has find that the cement companies have continued their cartel and unabashedly raised the prices further by Rs 30 per bag.
In Tiruchirapalli, where there are about 15 cement companies the price per bag is Rs 330, whereas in Chennai it is Rs 280, owing to the availability of cement from Andhra Pradesh, it said. The cost of cement inclusive of taxes and manufacturer's margin can never exceed Rs 180 per bag, it said.
Noting that the construction industry is a major driver of the economy, it said, in the past three years, India has witnessed that construction activities have come to a 'standstill' and that a substantial number of both government and private contractors going broke due to rising costs of all construction materials.
Therefore, the BAI demanded the establishment of a regulatory authority for cement on the lines of TRAI, IRDA... Bring cement under the Essential Commodities Act and allow import of cement freely by exempting it from all duties, it said.
BAI said it would take up the issue with the
Prime Minister, Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.