Special Correspondent

`Cement prices have gone up following budget'

HKCCI says:

  • Cement prices have gone up following the budget
  • Interests of common people are being affected

    GULBARGA: The Hyderabad Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (HKCCI) on Friday urged Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to rollback the hike on excise duties on cement and said cement companies had increased the rates of the cement bags following presentation of the budget.

    In a statement issued here, president of the HKCCI Umakant Nigudgi said it was discouraging to note that cement prices had gone up immediately after the budget. The Government-owned Cement Corporation of India (CCI) had increased the price from Rs. 178 a bag prior to the budget to Rs. 193 a bag immediately after the budget presentation.

    `Unreasonable'

    Following suit, private cement companies had also increased prices unreasonably. The ACC Cement which was sold at Rs. 194 a bag prior to the budget was now being sold at Rs. 204 a bag, Rajashree Cement had hiked its prices from Rs. 193 a bag to Rs. 203 a bag and Vasavadatta Cements had increased its prices from Rs. 178 a bag to Rs. 192 a bag.

    Mr. Nigudgi said despite steps initiated in the budget to contain inflation and stabilise the price of petrol and diesel prices and transportation charges, cement companies had increased the price of the cement which was hitting the middle class. Their hopes of constructing houses had been shattered owing to the abnormal increase in the price of cement, he said.

    The rate of interest on housing loans had also gone up in recent days causing a heavy burden on the poor and middle class.

    Mr. Nigudgi said that these increases would defeat the main focus of the budget to contain the inflationary pressure on the economy.

    He urged the Finance Minister to set right the anomalies and safeguard the interests of common people.

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