R Prakash, State chairman of the association, pointed out that the association members had observed a nationwide dharna and one-day strike on February 12 condemning the increasing cement price. “We also demand the State and central governments to intervene to curb cement price and to form a separate cement regulatory authority,” he said in a statement.
He alleged that the cement manufacturers created artificial shortage and increased the price by Rs 50 per bag deliberately, “with the purpose of profiteering at the fag end of financial year to hamper the ongoing works being carried out by contractors and builders”.
The statement also pointed out that the increase of price in cement was not due to the market forces but due to the prearranged cartelisation of production and supply by the manufacturers.
“The cement price hike in March will affect all the ongoing projects, as contractors and builders by and large works on fixed-rate, fixed-time basis which forces them to bear the brunt of higher cement price or compel them to delay the projects which will affect the livelihood of tens of thousands of construction workers,” Prakash added.