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Pakistan builders ask Cement Makers to cut prices

Apr, 16 2012

(Pakistan)  --  Members of the Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD), the representative body of Pakistan’s builders and developers, have asked the cement manufacturers to reduce cement prices by about 30%.

The Association has threatened to bring construction activities to a halt throughout the country if the cement manufacturers do not comply.

ABAD Chairman Mohsin Shiekhani said, “Cement manufacturers have formed a cartel. They claim that cement consumption has gone up, creating a gap in its demand and supply. If that’s true, why don’t they use the idle capacity of their plants, most of which currently operate at 60%-70% capacity?”

The price of a 50-kilogramme bag of cement in Pakistan went up to Rs435 from Rs365 in the last six months. ABAD has demanded that the cost of a 50kg bag be brought down to Rs300.

ABAD members will hoist black flags and put up banners at all construction sites in Pakistan to condemn the rise in cement prices. The association will plan another meeting on April 28, if the prices remain unchanged.

“There will be no purchase of cement, and no construction activity, after April 28 if our demands are not fulfilled,” Sheikhani said.

ABAD representatives also plan to urge the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), the regulatory body to check cartelization, to take measures against cement manufacturers who form a cement cartel to raise the prices.

ABAD Chairman (South Region) Saleem Kassim Patel also pointed out that the cement manufacturers had increased the cement prices on the pretext of the hike in global oil demand while most of them used coal and gas. The price of coal had gone down from $128 per ton in July 2011 to $120 per ton in the international market.

“Besides, gas is used to fire cement plants in the summer, which is also a cheap source of energy.” Patel said.

By: Rashmi Kalia (ARI-C NEWS)

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