SFIO probes cartelisation cement industry
The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is investigating allegations of cartelisation against cement majors UltraTech Cement, Ambuja Cements and ACC. The SFIO is acting under the directions of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which is its nodal ministry. It is believed that the investigation will examine the conduct of the cement companies over a 10-year period. UltraTech Cement and Ambuja Cements confirmed that an investigation is being carried out by the SFIO, and that the companies have already provided information and documents. UltraTech, Ambuja Cements and ACC together control a little over one-third of the country's total cement manufacturing capacity of 300 million tonnes. The Indian cement market is the world's second-fastest growing market after China, and has attracted global majors keen to corner a chunk of the pie. Demand is growing at 8-10 per cent every year, second to China's growth of 13-14 per cent. In comparison, cement consumption in Europe and the US has been below 4 per cent.