Parliamentary panel recommends regulatory body for cement sector
A Parliamentary panel, which reviewed the performance of the cement industry, advised that the government should set up a statutory regulatory body to check the possibility of cartelisation and price rise. "The government should establish a statutory regulatory authority to regulate cement prices to curb the tendencies of market dominance, under-utilisation of capacity and to check the possibility of cartelisation," Shanta Kumar, Chairman, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce, said after unveiling the report. The committee found that cement prices in India are rising and are higher than the rates in the neighbouring countries. Besides setting up a regulatory body, the committee also recommended that the government strengthen the Competition Commission of India (CCI) by enabling it to take suo motu action in all cases of unfair trade practices.
The Parliamentary panel also suggested that the government should order an independent study on the existence of cartelisation in the cement industry. The CCI may also be asked to look into the matter, he said. "The government should take adequate penal measures so that no cartelisation takes place," he noted.