Real estate developers’ and contractors’ bodies have announced a day-long strike on Friday across the country to protest against the alleged “artificial price hike of raw materials” including steel and cement.

Representatives of Builders Association of India (BAI), Gujarat Chapter accompanied by the State chapters of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India, , Contractor Association, Gujarat Institute of Housing and Estate Developers and Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India) Ahmedabad Centre met on February 11 to announce a strike on February 12.

“Looking at the adverse effects of artificial price hike of steel and cement on real estate sector and Indian economy, we have unanimously decided to support the movement initiated by Builders Association of India against cartelisation of steel and cement manufacturing companies. We will also request to the government for an urgent intervention,” said Kirti Thacker, State Chairman, BAI- Gujarat chapter.

The trade bodies and associations informed that cement prices have jumped to ₹310 per bag of 50 kg, which was ₹230 a year ago.

According to Ashishbhai K Patel, President, CREDAI Gujarat, “Most of the hike has come in the past four months. In steel, we have seen a sharp jump of about 40 per cent. This has completely disturbed the cost economics for the builders and contractors. There is no logic behind this steep hike other than the cartelisation by the producers. If this isn’t stopped immediately, we fear that the construction costs will go up by about 20 per cent and we may see real estate prices going up by 15-20 per cent in near future.”.

Currently, about 22,000 construction sites are active in the State, of which about 60 per cent are real estate, while 40 per cent are government construction projects. About 40 lakh workers are associated with the construction work.

Anand Dave, President, Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India) - Ahmedabad Centre – Gujarat said, “The statistical figures of cement and steel manufacturing companies show that the companies have not fully utilised their installed capacities and without any valid reason hiked the prices.”