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Builders protest cement prices in India

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World Cement,

Builders in Tamil Nadu are protesting over cement prices, despite yesterday’s launch of Amma Cement, a government scheme to provide subsidised cement for eco-friendly and low-cost housing. Hundreds of members of various associations held a hunger strike and took to the streets to call on the government to do more to bring down cement prices, which have reportedly risen to Rs.380 – 395 per bag. A bag of cement reportedly costs Rs.220 in Andhra Pradesh. 

The associations, including the Builders’ Association of India and Civil Engineers’ Association, say that Amma Cement comes with too many conditions to benefit large-scale projects – though noting its benefit to low income self-build projects – and have called for a regulatory body to be formed to control cement prices. There are allegations of cartel behaviour and arbitrary price increases, as well as accusations that cement producers are creating an artificial scarcity of cement.

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