A nefarious ‘syndicate’ indulges in rampant ‘cartelisation’ to ‘manipulate’ market price of cement to fleece buyers in Assam and other states in Northeast India.
Pranab Kumar Sarma, president of Assam Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers’ Association (AREIDA) told Northeast Now on Wednesday that a nefarious ‘cement syndicate’ is all out to ‘loot’ customers in Assam and the other states in the region.
“There is huge difference in prices of cement in Assam and West Bengal because the syndicate is all out to loot the customers,” Sarmasaid.
The AREIDA had filed a case with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on September 2, 2016 alleging that three companies — Topcem Cement, Star Cement and Dalmia Cement have been leading the nefarious syndicate.
The case was filed under section 19 (1) (a) of the Competition Act 2002, for violation of section 3 and section 4 of the Act.
After a preliminary inquiry, the CCI had registered a case (No. 77/2016) against Topcem Cement and the two other companies, under Section 19 (1) (a) of the Competitions Act 2002, for violation of Sections 3 and 4 of the Act.
Sarma said it is unfortunate that the ‘cement syndicate’ is looting the customers, including the real estate developers in Assam and the other states in the region.
“The cement companies are artificially hiking the cement prices, and every dream homes people are constructing, are getting costlier,” he said.
The AREIDA president said it is shameful that the cement companies have enjoyed all the benefits under the North-East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, and are not ashamed to ‘loot’ the customers.
Recently, it was reported that Topcem Cement, which ‘exploits’ limestone reserves of East Jaintia hills in Meghalaya has been ‘looting’ the tribal Khasi and Jaintia customers.
Retail price of a bag of Topcem Cement in Assam ranged between Rs 390 to Rs 420, while the price was Rs 440 to 450 in Meghalaya.
Despite extracting natural resources in Meghalaya, and enjoying all the benefits under the North East Industrial & Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), Topcem Cement has been selling at a higher price in the state.
Anil Kapur, president of Topcem Cement, when contacted, had also admitted that there is a ‘disparity’ in prices of cement in Meghalaya and Assam.
The Topcem Cement official had claimed that cement bags are costlier in Meghalaya because of logistic and ‘other’ issues.