Gadkari alleges cartelisation by cement companies

Gadkari alleges cartelisation by cement companies

Gadkari alleges cartelisation by cement companies

Accusing cement makers of indulging in price “cartelisation”, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said this had led to the cost of road building going up.

He said he would take up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “exaggerated exploitation” in the name of earning profits by cement firms. He was speaking at an event organised by industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Attacking cement industry, the Minister said “every company has a right to make profits but “exaggerated exploitation” was unacceptable.

“The cement industry indulging in cartelisation makes a huge difference to the production and marketing cost. We have decided to build cement concrete roads and we want  the cost of construction to remain low,” he said.

Gadkari earlier announced the Centre’s plan to build all new highways using indigenous concrete in place of bitumen, which has to be imported.

Though the cost of building cement roads was more, the Ministry believes that even their durability was higher.

The cement industry also welcomed the move saying cement concrete roads would result in fuel saving to the extent of 14 per cent.

However cement prices have increased between Rs 20 and Rs 40 a bag in the last four months, with the prices currently ranging from Rs 300 to Rs 350 a bag. The construction industry alleged that cement makers dictate prices through cartelisation.

In 2012, competition watchdog Competition Commission of India imposed a hefty penalty of about Rs 6,200 crore on 11 leading cement companies for price cartelisation.

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