The Visakhapatnam chapter of Builders’ Association of India (BAI) has sought intervention of the Government in regulating the prices of cement and steel which have soared sky high, beyond the comprehension of the middle classes.

Talking to media persons here on Sunday, past chairman of BAI S. Vijaya Kumar felt that manufacturers should not be allowed to hike cement price without the knowledge of the Government and a regulatory authority should be formed to fix the price, for, the cost of cement had increased from about Rs.145 to Rs.295 a bag within a short period of four months. He called for strict implementation of law to curb the trend.

Chairman of the chapter J. Srinivasa Raju the impact of the price hike was hard. Construction sector was the second biggest area after agriculture in the country, and the price fluctuations should be controlled and necessary skills imparted for the personnel to improve quality.

Another past president K. Kumar Raja felt that infrastructure development would come to halt if no action was taken to control the prices. If the projects are stopped midway, the loss is not only to an individual but to the entire country, he said.

General council member of BAI Ch. Ramakotaiah alleged that a cement cartel was operating at the all-India level, breaking the back of the common man. He called for skill-set improvement as a labourer who was doing the job in one day, was no taking five days, which was a national waste. The contractors were the worst affected, he felt.

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