Tamil Nadu

Cement will be made available at a reasonable and acceptable price, says association

Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

The South Indian Cement Manufacturers Association has said that cement will be made available at a reasonable and acceptable price.

In a statement on Saturday, the association said that based on the appeal made by the Minister for Industries, the cement industry has said that it would make sure cement was made available at a reasonable and acceptable price to help the public at large, during these difficult times of the pandemic. However, the association did not give any details about the amount by which the price would be slashed.

“Cement industry is working very closely with the government of Tamil Nadu, in making cement available at a hugely concessional price to the weaker section of the society. We want to assure the Tamil Nadu government and the people that the cement industry will remain fully supportive of every single development initiative of the government,” the association said.

It also noted that cement prices were only a small component of the total construction costs. “Cement industry, like all other industries, has been going through trying times during the second phase of Covid, operating at only 30-40% capacity utilisation. In order to sustain our own survival, and in view of an increase in all round cost, price increase of cement was inevitable,” it said.

Also Read: In TN, real estate industry, cement makers spar over price hike yet again

Real estate developers and builders in Tamil Nadu have been complaining about the escalating cement prices in the last few months. They had pointed out that retail cement prices have shot up to ₹520 per 50 kg bag, up from ₹460 in May. Cement manufacturers had then pointed out that their input costs have gone up and that was the reason for an increase in the price.

Earlier this week, Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu said the State government held a meeting with stakeholders in the industry on reducing cement prices.

Protest held

Members of the Construction and Real Estate Industry Coalition staged a protest against the steep rise in cement prices in Chennai on Saturday.

They said cement was being sold at an exorbitant price in Tamil Nadu, compared to other States. They resorted to a protest, where some members sat on cement bags stacked in a vehicle outside industrialist and South India Cement Manufacturers’ Association president N. Srinivasan’s house.

S. Yuvaraj, the coalition’s secretary, said a bag of cement was being sold at ₹350-₹370 in Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. This sudden price hike will affect the construction industry, and the labourers dependent on it, he said. Though there had been no increase in the cost of raw materials or taxes, cement prices had soared.

Similarly, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangankalin Peramaippu has urged the State government to appoint a monitoring committee to control the spiralling cost of cement and other construction materials and streamline the trade for the benefit of the unorganised workers dependent on it.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 6:03:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cement-will-be-made-available-at-a-reasonable-and-acceptable-price-says-association/article34857774.ece

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