No plans to set up cement price regulator: minister

March 11th, 2008 - 9:51 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar Tuesday ruled out setting up a regulator to stabilise cement prices, and said the prices were already under control. “The government took measures, like customs duty removal, to facilitate import to tide over the domestic cement supply shortages,” Kumar told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

“It (government) has also delegated special power to agencies like Mineral and Metal Trading Corp (MMTC) to undertake bulk cement import in case there was any shortage of the material in the market,” Kumar said.

“Because of the implementation of these measures, the average cement price has stabilised to a large extent, showing an increase of just 2.67 percent between March 2007 and January, 2008,” the minister added.

Monopolistic and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) earlier this year found major cement manufacturers including ACC, Lafarge and Grasim guilty of cartelisation to jack up prices, fuelling speculations that the government might set up a regulator to discipline them.

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