VIJAYAWADA : Builders associations in the State are gearing up to intensify their agitation against the steep rise in the price of cement, which has gone up from `240 a bag to `340 all of a sudden.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Capital Region Builders Association (CRBA) chairman Gadde Rajalingam said the cement manufacturing companies have increased the price unilaterally, which pushed the construction industry into crisis.
Though there is no rise in the prices of raw material used in manufacture of cement, the companies which formed themselves into a syndicate, are increasing the prices abnormally as per their wish. There is no effective check on the cement industry, he said.
The CRBA chairman felt that instead of purchasing cement in the domestic market at a high price, importing cement bags from countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan seems to be cost-effective for builders. The cement prices in neighbouring countries are far less compared to that of in India. If the manufacturers fail to reduce the prices, the builders will stop purchasing cement bags from them, Rajalingam said.
Builders Association of India (BAI) central board member Ch Ramakotaiah said demonetisation had an adverse impact on the construction sector. The cement companies which formed themselves into a syndicate, have created an artificial scarcity for it in the State by reducing production. The cement price has touched the all time high of `400 per bag.
The price rise is more than `100 per bag. The prices of steel have also increased by `10,000 per tonne. The steep rise in prices of construction material has resulted in escalation of cost of real estate ventures, he said.
“The companies which agreed to supply cement at `240 per bag to government projects, have increased the price to `350. With the increase in the prices of cement, contractors undertaking government projects will incur huge losses. At these costs, we cannot execute the development projects,” Ramakotaiah said.
The Builders Association has threatened to organise a series of agitations if the State government fails to take immediate measures to control the prices of cement.