A Sindh High Court bench suspended on Friday an order of the Monopoly Control Authority (MCA), directing cement manufacturers to bring down cement prices to the level of January-March 2003.
The order of the MCA was suspended during a hearing of a petition filed by Fecto, Deewan and other cement manufacturing factories.
The petitioners claimed that cement-manufacturing units, including those of the public sector, suffered a loss of Rs 790m during the third quarter of financial year 2003-2004. They submitted that if the prices were frozen at the same level the entire cement industry would continue to suffer huge losses.
The counsel for the petitioners Khalid Anwer contended before a division bench comprising Justice Anwer Zaheer Jamali and Justice Nadeem Azhar Siddiqui that the respondents, MCA and the finance ministry, while issuing orders to freeze cement prices at a particular level did not bother to consider the prices of raw material used in the manufacture of cement which recorded an increase of 50 percent. staff report