Price hike slowing down biz, lament sellers

The prices of electrical and plumbing materials surged at least by 8-12 per cent in the city. Dealers said that the clients hesitate to continue construction work and want to wait till the material rates drop.
Photo: Hemanthan M
Photo: Hemanthan M

CHENNAI: The copper used in electrical products including wires, LED bulbs, air conditioner, and solar panel rates surged by 8-12 per cent recently. In 2019, one square wire (one box) was Rs 550, currently raised to Rs 850.

“As prices went up drastically, customers decided to switch to solar panels. But the price for that too was hiked to Rs 10,800 from Rs 10,000 in one week. More than the actual price of the product, it’s the tax that’s the burden,” said MJ Nagalingam, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Electrician Wel-fare Association.

“Recently, we gave a quotation of Rs 1 lakh for electrical works for a two-storey building. They asked us to purchase from neighbouring districts or buy from the distributor at a cheaper rate. But the prices are same everywhere,” he added.

They claim that the building under construction was stopped due to the increase in prices of electrical and plumbing materials. Many customers await for the drop in price to drop to restart construction. And some opt for cheaper products over quality and branded items.

“Compared to the last two years, prices of plumbing items have doubled. A tap was sold for Rs 50, and now it’s Rs 90. Earlier, people wanted a luxurious life whereas at present, they struggle due to financial crises,” said P Bhagavanthan, an electrician and builder in the city. For instance, most clients stay in two-bedroom apartments, but due to price hike of construction materials, many have opted for one-bedroom house.”

Similarly, the price for tiles and sanitary wares have also surged by 20 per cent. Sellers clarify that rates might differ for every product each month based on the quality and brand available.

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