Cement subsidy offer for economically weaker sections

Cement subsidy offer for economically weaker sections
Published: 10 January 2008

Seven private Indian cement manufacturers have come forward to sell cement at Rs200 a bag to people belonging to economically backward sections and the lower middle class in the State of Tamil Nadu. They have proposed that a maximum of 400 bags (50kg per bag) will be supplied to each consumer on the basis of permits to be issued by district officials concerned.

Their calculation is that these sections of the society will construct dwelling units in the range of 500-1,000 sq. ft. As per a construction thumb rule, 20 kg of cement is needed for building one sq. ft. Such consumers will have to make their payment in advance by demand drafts.

The seven cement manufacturers have expressed their willingness to offer 200,000 bags of blended cement every month in all districts. Each company will adopt districts close to their area of production for public distribution. “Cement will be delivered at the doorstep of such consumers [the economically-backward sections and the lower middle class] against permits to be issued by appropriate officials in every district. Producers located outside Tamil Nadu supplying cement to Tamil Nadu will also participate in this scheme,” representatives of the seven companies said in their letter to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

A delegation of the manufacturers, including N. Srinivasan (India Cements), P.R. Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha (Madras Cements) and M.A.M.R. Muthiah (Chettinad Cement Corporation), called on Mr. Karunanidhi at the Secretariat on Wednesday and presented the proposal. Other companies are Grasim Industries, Ultratech Cement, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) and the ACC. On Monday, Mr. Srinivasan met the Chief Minister and assured him that he would consult other manufacturers on the issue of reducing the price of cement.