The cement retail prices have crossed Rs 260 and are being sold at Rs 270 per 50kg bag, it was learnt on Tuesday. Retailers insist that their purchase rate was Rs 265, which was above the already-increased price of Rs 260 per 50kg bag. They said that retailers were selling the commodity with profit of only Rs 5 per 50-kg bag.
They said that prime quality cement is being retailed at Rs 270 per 50-kg bag, and its purchase price is Rs 265. The medium quality cement is being retailed between Rs 245 to Rs 260 per 50kg bag. Earlier, last week, the ministry of industry and production accepted 15 percent rise on per 50kg bag by allowing the manufacturers to sell it at Rs 260 in the retail market.
Traders alleged that cement manufacturers increased the prices without justification. They said that the manufacturers were ’’violating’’ the law. The irrational price increase has been done by manufactures to gain huge profit, they maintained.
"Government has clearly said that cement should not be sold above Rs 260 per 50-kg bag, whereas manufacturers have turned a deaf ear to its declaration," they alleged. They also criticised the Monopoly Control Authority (MCA) and said that they too have failed to ensure stability in the local market, as its primary job was to curb monopoly.
"People buy cement at the time of its price increase, fearing that the price may further increase in the days to come, therefore, at this juncture, demand spurs," they said. Aizaz Shaikh, Chairman All Pakistan Cement Manufactures Association (APCMA) said that a stern action would be taken against those companies and dealers who were involved in price increase. APCMA will ensure the cement price set by the Ministry of Production is effectively followed, he added.