Kamal Nath warns cement manufacturers against profiteering

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New Delhi, Jan 9 (UNI) Warning cement manufacturers against indulging in profiteering, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath today said the government would take recourse to liberal imports to bring down prices of the commodity.

Mr Nath told reporters here that the reason for the high cement prices was the supply-demand mismatch. .

''The government is monitoring cement prices. It is high due to a supply-demand mismatch,'' Mr Nath said.

The Minister made these remarks on the sidelines of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conference.

He said the Government understood the need of businesses to earn profits but would not tolerate profiteering.

''We are reviewing cement prices from time to time. While cement companies can make profits, profiteering cannot be allowed,'' he said.

His statement come days after the Tamil Nadu government threatened to nationalise cement companies if private producers failed to check the prices of the construction material.

''The long term answer lies in capacity building. So, with new capacities coming in, I think there will be softening in the area,'' Mr Nath said.

''There is a huge increase in construction and this has led to the gap. We need to looking at greater imports too,'' the Minister said.

Cement prices are ruling in the range of Rs 240 per 50 kg bag now, but cost less than Rs 200 one and a half years ago.

This is not the first time that the government has issued a stern warning to cement manufacturers asking them to desist against cartelisation, but these have fallen on deaf ears.

The Minister, however, exuded confidence that further measures by the government would lead to softening of prices.

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