Europe / Middle East / Africa
Builders' Association alleges continuing price-fixing by cement companies
Jul, 16 2012
(India) -- The Builders’ Association of India has accused the cement companies of continuing cartelization of prices even after CCI penalized some of them with heavy penalties.
The BAI has now sought the government's intervention in this regard. BAI said it would take up the issue with the Prime Minister, Union Commerce Minister and chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
"While we are happy that CCI has taken action to penalise (some) cement companies, we find that the cement companies have continued their cartel and unabashedly raised the prices further by Rs 30 per bag", BAI said in a statement here.
"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.
The association noted that the rising costs of all construction materials have led to the construction activities coming to a 'standstill' in the past three years. This has also led to the dwindling fortunes of a substantial number of both government and private contractors.
"Therefore, we demand, 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.
The association has warned that they would not hesitate to make this a public issue by taking “the matter to the streets".
By: Rashmi Kalia (ARI-C News)
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