The Chennai chapter of the Builders’ Association of India (BAI) on Friday urged the Centre and Tamil Nadu Government to take steps to control the prices of cement and steel.
Cement should be taken off the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) list, enabling importers to bring in the key raw material cement without undergoing quality certification. This, they said, was needed as the process of getting approval from the BIS was too cumbersome.
The import levies on cement had been removed earlier as part of the price-control measures by the Centre. Manufacturers of cement had also promised earlier this year that the prices would not be hiked for another year.
However, members of the Chennai Chapter of the BAI alleged that the manufacturers had gone back on their promise and the price of a bag of cement had risen to Rs. 240 a bag of 50 kgs as against Rs.140 two years ago. Steel was removed from the BIS list sometime ago, they pointed out. The BAI representatives would be meeting the State Government next week to seek governmental intervention, they said. The BAI leaders who addressed the media on Friday, included the Chennai chapter chairman A.B. Ramasamy and vice-chairman M.K. Sundaram.