Government asks cement firms to justify price hike, India

Government asks cement firms to justify price hike, India
Published: 11 May 2006

India’s government has asked a body representing cement manufacturers to explain a recent spike in prices and suggest ways they could be moderated, an official said on Wednesday.  
 
Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath would meet the cement manufacturers’ association on May 12, Ajay Dua, a secretary at the industry ministry, told reporters. 
 
Cement prices have risen to 200 rupees ($4.45) per 50-kg bag from 135 rupees four months ago in India, the world’s biggest market after China.  
 
All the major players - Grasim Industries Ltd, UltraTech Cement Ltd, Madras Cements Ltd and Chettinad Cement Corp Ltd and India Cements - have raised prices in the last few months.  
 
A subsequent increase in construction costs could hit Asia’s third-largest economy which is stepping up efforts to build more roads, ports, airports, and power plants as it chases growth rates of 10 percent a year.