Govt keeping close watch on cement price rise

Govt keeping close watch on cement price rise
Published: 20 March 2006

The Indian government yesterday said it would look into reasons for recent abnormal rise in cement price and would not hesitate to intervene to bring down price level. "We are concerned at the price rise," Urban Development Minister Ajay Maken said inaugurating an exhibition organised jointly by FICCI and Builders’ Association of India (BAI).

He, however, clarified that Government does not want to interfere in market price mechanism, but would chip in for correction if price goes beyond the reach of the common man. bIn the capital region, price per bag of cement has risen upto Rs 250 as against Rs 140 per bag two months ago. 
 
Spokesmen for the FICCI reportedly attributed formation of cartels by big companies to be the main reason behind the abnormal price escalation and have demanded a strong regulatory mechanism to be put in place to monitor any such abnormal price rise for cement. The recent cement price increase of around 40-50 per cent has caused 6-7 per cent rise in house construction cost, said a builder. nBesides the cartel factor, last year’s Supreme Court judgement in December banning overloading in trucks have also contributed to the price rise.