Construction industry body announces strike on Feb 12 to protest unjustified steel and cement price hike

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on February 10, 2021

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Construction Industry, Coimbatore, which represents various bodies of the industry, announced one-day strike on February 12 to protest unreasonable and frequent increase in prices of steel and cement.

The JAC has demanded that there should be fair pricing of these two products, and has also called for a regulatory authority to control the increasing prices.

“The Centre and State governments have come up with schemes to provide housing for all and various infrastructure projects. All these are now in danger of not getting implemented because of undue increase in steel and cement prices,” said D Abhishek, Chairman, JAC.

JAC members pointed out that the price of steel has shot up from ₹35,000 per tonne in the beginning of 2019 to ₹65,600 per tonne. Similarly, the price of a bag of cement has increased to ₹420 from ₹280, resulting increase in construction costs. .

Cartelisation charge

“Similarly, all developmental projects are in the risk of coming to a grinding halt. Builders and contractors, who are working with a thin margin, are unable to absorb the increase in costs and are forced to pass it to the customers,” said K Chinnaswamy, Vice-President, All India Builders Association of India.

JAC alleged that there is cartelisation by the industry which has formed an unholy alliance to increase prices without justification. They also pointed out Union Ministers’ voices on cartelisation in these sectors.

“Despite several representations made by construction industry Associations to Centre and State governments, no action has been taken so far. Hence in the interest of the general public and the construction industry, the JAC will be organising a one-day strike/stop work, on February 12.,” said Abhishek.

Around 10,000, small and medium builders and contractors and over 50,000 construction workers will participate in the strike in Coimbatore. A protest rally will be held on the same day.

Meanwhile, the South India Cement Manufacturers Association condemned the strike plan and accused builders of spreading misinformation and taking advantage of the economic recovery to hike prices instead of reducing them so as to help the Centre and State governments in their initiative to put a roof over the heads of poor people.

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Published on February 09, 2021
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