Cement companies continue their cartel: BAI
Jul 14 2012, 16:41 | By PTI
Accusing cement companies of continuing cartelisation of prices even after CCI penalising some of them, Builders' Association of India (BAI) today sought the government's intervention and said they will raise issue at the highest level.
"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. Noting that the construction industry is a major driver of the economy, it said, "in the past three years, we have witnessed that construction activities have come to a 'standstill' and that a substantial number of both government and private contractors going broke due to rising costs of all construction materials".
"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.
BAI said it would take up the issue with the Prime Minister, Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and chief minister J Jayalalithaa". The association, also warned that if required they would not hesitate to take "the matter to the streets".
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