Special Correspondent

VELLORE: The offer by seven private manufacturers to sell cement at Rs.200 a bag to the poor and the lower middle class appears to be an eyewash, Pudhiya Thamizhagam founder-president K. Krishnasamy said here on Thursday.

Talking to reporters, he said the permit system mooted by the manufactures would breed corruption. Cement was being sold at Rs.100 a bag in China, but cost three times more in India. So, the State Government should press ahead with its decision to nationalise all cement units if the manufacturers did not bring down the prices substantially.

He urged the government to subsidise higher education for the poor. While five lakh candidates wrote the Plus-Two examinations every year, not even one-fifth went for higher education, unable to afford the cost.