Construction comes to halt as builders seek price control
The steel prices have gone up due to demand for exports in China. Though the State government has introduced a sand supply policy to regulate its price, builders say lacunae in its implementation is forcing them to pay more
There was no end to cartelisation of cement prices despite the slapping of penalty of Rs 6,700 cr on 10 cement manufacturers, says APCCIF Zonal Chairman Sudhir Mulagada
Visakhapatnam: The joint action committee of the construction industry observed a strike across the State on Friday to press for immediate intervention to end cartelisation by cement manufacturers, steep increase in steel and sand prices.
Construction activity at various places including Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, HPCL Visakh Refinery and Military Engineering Service came to a grinding halt for a day as the builders and contractors did not take up any work.
In response to a call for a nationwide protest, the members of Builders' Association of India (BAI), AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation (APCCIF) CREDAI, GVMC Contractors' Association, VPT Contractors' Association, BAI Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and MES branches, APREDA and NAREDCO took part in the dharna organised at GVMC Gandhi statue here.
BAI Visakhapatnam chapter chairman E Srinivasa Rao told Bizz Buzz that they had been fighting for a regulatory mechanism as the abnormal increase of prices immediately after the lockdown had cast a heavy burden on them making their businesses unviable.
APCCIF zonal Chairman Sudhir Mulagada said there was no end to cartelisation of cement prices despite the slapping of a penalty of Rs 6,700 crore on 10 cement manufacturers.
The steel prices have gone up due to demand for exports in China. Though the State government has introduced a sand supply policy to regulate its price, builders say lacunae in its implementation is forcing them to pay more. They feel that imposition of import duty on steel products could have curtailed the quantum of exports of rebars and rounds to China from the steel industry.
According to Credai Visakhapatnam Chapter Chairman P Koteswara Rao, cement price per bag which used to be Rs230 to Rs240 a few months ago had gone up to Rs380 to Rs400. The steel price, he said, had increased to Rs65,000 tonne from Rs35,000.
Hailing the new sand policy introduced by the State Government, Rao said some loopholes has forced them to procure sand at Rs1800 to Rs2,000 per tonne instead of the prescribed price of Rs775.
"We have been representing the government and hope that our one-day country-wide strike will lead to the introduction of a regulatory mechanism," BAI general council member Kasi Visweswara Rao said.