Abad demands action against price hike of cement, steel products

Web DeskWeb Editor

31st Aug, 2021. 07:04 pm

KARACHI: The Association of Builders and Developers (Abad) Pakistan has urged the government to take stern action against the cartel involved in increasing the prices of cement and steel, which are the basic raw materials for the construction industry, a statement said on Tuesday.

Abad chairman Fayyaz Ilyas demanded stern action against the cement manufacturers’ cartel, and said that continuously increasing the prices of cement and steel bars will badly damage the construction industry and the government will not be able to achieve the target of Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.

The cement and steel manufacturers started raising prices at a time when the construction activities came to take off with the announcement of a special package for the construction industry by the prime minister.

Ilyas said that the continuous increase in cement and steel bars prices is a conspiracy against the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme and the national economy.

He urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to take action against cement and steel manufacturers just like the government had taken action against sugar mill owners and appoint a commission.

Due to the ever-increasing prices of cement and steel, the builders are facing difficulties in completing their projects and the common people are unable to build their dream homes.

Ilyas said that the construction industry, after agriculture, is the largest job provider and if the conspiracy against this industry is not stopped, thousands of skilled and unskilled workers will lose their livelihood and the national economy will have irreparable loss.

It is high time to reactivate the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to take action against cement and steel manufacturers’ cartels, Ilyas added.

He recalled that steel bar prices/ton was Rs110,000 in November 2020 and today it stood at Rs178,500, which shows an increase of more than Rs68,000/tonne during the last 10 months.

Likewise, the cement prices are also raised to Rs680/50kg bag, he said, adding that 60 per cent of the total cost of a high-rise building consists of cement and steel, while this ratio is 30 per cent to 40 per cent in a normal residential project.

In this situation, the federal government will not be able to fulfill its promise of constructing five million low-cost houses, he added.

Adsence 300X250