The regulatory process is delaying construction projects
We are dealing in cement since the last 12 years, in the Pune region. Our monthly dispatch is around 1000 to 1200 tonnes of cement. Ninety per cent of this goes for housing and the rest is consumed by infrastructure projects. We are exclusive dealers of the Birla group product as we find being an exclusive dealer is a profitable option. The Birla Super is a popular brand in this region. Of the one lakh tonnes of the Birla cement sold in Pune, around 80, 000 tonnes is OPC grade while the remaining is of PPC grade. PPC is mostly used in plastering work. Last year, the demand was low and this year too, we are not sure how the market will perform. Recent hailstorms have destroyed crops and led to shortage of cash in the market. Besides, the Collector has recently made it imperative to have the Town Planning Division's approval for any construction activity. The process to obtain the clearance is lengthy, often taking - seven to eight months. Most of the developers don't know the exact process involved in obtaining the clearances. This regulatory process is delaying construction projects. Another challenge is coping with the ever-dropping cement prices. The margins are shrinking rapidly and it is difficult to sustain business on such small profits.