Indian cement producers under scrutiny, cartel investigation

Indian cement producers under scrutiny, cartel investigation
Published: 29 August 2011

In a crackdown on alleged cartel behaviour of cement manufacturers, the Competition Commission of India’s Director General has conducted a detailed investigation on over two dozen companies, including leading players such as ACC, Ambuja Cement and UltraTech.

The report submitted to the CCI chairman has held most of the companies guilty of cutting production to raise cement price, according to a report by the Financial Chronicle (India).

CCI is now seeking a response from these companies on the DG report. The companies will be given three to four weeks time to submit their responses or explain their stand to the commission.

Chief legal officer of Aditya Birla Group Ashok Gupta told another newspaper, the Financial Express (India): "At this stage, we are not able to comment... All we can say that the report lacks understanding of cement industry’s working."

According to sources contacted by the Financial Express, RoC had concluded that since capacity utilisation and net profit did not move in tandem, it suggested irregularity in the operations of the company, in a way detrimental to the interest of the public/consumers at large.