Three real estate developer associations have called for a nation-wide strike on March 15 this year, in protest against the recent hike in cement and steel prices; they have also demanded that the Government reduce import duty on these items. All building activity as well as purchase of cement and steel will be called to a halt that day, announced representatives of the three associations, at a news conference here on Thursday. The three bodies were the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) and Builders Association of India (BAI).
The associations also claimed they have an alternative in hand. The construction industry has started dialogues with China, Indonesia and Korea for import of steel and cement, as it would be cheaper than buying from Indian suppliers, said a joint statement. The price of cement has risen from Rs 95 a bag to Rs 160 a bag over the last three or four months; and the price of steel from Rs 19,500 a tonne to Rs 28,000 a tonne in the last two or three months. This overall rise of 50 per cent in prices of both cement and steel, said the builders, is unnatural, though a moderate price increase might have been in order.