The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday warned private cement companies in the state of nationalisation, if they did not help put a cap on the galloping cement price.
‘The government has no other option than taking over the private cement companies in the state if they did not come forward to bring down the price,’ an official press release said.
In the light of the surging cement price amidst allegations of cartelisation by private cement companies over the last few months Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Wednesday held an high-level meeting at the secretariat on selling cement directly to the public at the cost price.
The meeting was held following strong opposition from PMK against the government decision to sell imported cement in bulk quantities.
PMK founder S Ramadoss had earlier urged the State Government to sell the cement through fair price shops to benefit people belonging to the middle class and the underprivileged sections of society.
In today’s meeting, the government decided to issue an order immediately to import one lakh tonnes of cement from Central government’s MMTC through the State-owned TANCEM.
The imported cement would be stocked in over 200 goodowns of the Tamilnadu Civil Supplies Corporation in Taluks and Districts across the state. The cement would be sold directly to the consumers at the cost price, the release said.
A decision was also taken to speed up steps to allow TANCEM to import cement, the release said and added TANCEM could import cement directly by tenders.
The meeting was attended by Higher Education and Minerals Minister K Ponmudy, Chief Secretary L K Tirupathy, Finance Secretary, Food Department secretary, TANCEM chairman and TNCSC managing director.