Realtors body Credai reports 40-50 pc hike in cement, steel prices; alleges cartelisation

Realtors'' apex body Credai on Saturday said cement and steel rates have increased by 40-50 per cent in last few weeks despite the lockdown and alleged price cartelisation and unfair trade practices by the manufacturers.

The association has written a letter to Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri seeking his intervention in the matter.

"We would like to bring your attention to the cartelization by the cement and the steel manufacturers by imposing a sudden increase in their selling price," Credai said in the letter.

Across various states, there has been an increase of Rs 100-250 per bag cement and about Rs 2,000-2,500 per tonne of steel, it added.

During the past few weeks, there has been a sudden, steep increase in prices of essential raw materials such as cement and steel by 40-50 per cent despite the nationwide lockdown.

The Centre has allowed construction work on sites where labourers are already available.

Given the current crisis faced by the real estate industry because of COVID-19 and even otherwise, such an abrupt increase in prices will be a bolt from the blue for the developers and will lead to increase in the construction costs and overall project cost, Credai said.

With thin margins, many developers might be constrained to stop construction work, leading to delays in completion of projects.

"Needless to say, this will have a cascading effect on the homebuyers also. Sir, this abrupt increase in the prices is highly unethical and amounts to unfair and restrictive trade practices," the letter said.

The association stressed on the need to control this price rise for smooth construction operations.

"We shall be grateful if the issue of price rise of cement, steel, and other raw materials can be taken up by you with the relevant ministries at the earliest," Credai urged the housing minister. 
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