All the three Cement Companies ACC, Ambuja and Jaypee, have agreed to reduce price of 50 kg., cement bag by Rs. 25. This decision was taken in the High Level Meeting convened under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal that was attended by top notch representatives of the Companies and senior officers of the State Government, here today, to discuss rationalization of cement prices in the State of Himachal Pradesh. He directed the deputy commissioners to ensure that price list of different companies was regularly displayed by retail dealers within their jurisdiction.
Chief Minister appreciated the Cement Companies for their goodwill gesture towards the common man of the State which was bound to deliver relief to people which were carrying minor repairs and constructing houses in different parts of the State. He said that the Government of India had taken Cement as commodity out of the list of controlled items setting Cement companies free to determine cement prices at their own. He said that he had also sought the intervention of the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, to review the decision and bring Cement under the fold of controlled items which had been the prerogative of the Union Government. He said that the increase in cement prices had been disturbing the budget of common man who were in need of carrying repair, maintenance and construction activities for their domestic purposes and with the reduction of retail prices it would give relief to the people of the State. He said that the State Government had been pursuing the Cement Companies at different level to reduce their prices. He said that it was only after the exhaustive exercise undertaken by the Department of Industries that the higher level meeting had been convened to take final decision in the matter.
Chief Minister assured the Cement Companies that the reduction would not be linked to the government supplies but provide relief to the common man. He said that the Companies needed to understand that it was the State of Himachal Pradesh which was supplying them raw material for manufacturing of cement in the plants established in the State itself. He said that the people of the State had every right to ask them for supply of cement at reasonable costs since they were experiencing the pinch of environmental degradation, choking of roads and other related inconveniences. He said that as compared to the production of cement by the companies, consumption of the same was quite low. He said that the State had maintained very cordial relations with the entrepreneurs and had been extending all help to carry on with their production activities. He said that it was also part of corporate responsibility of Cement companies to facilitate local consumers with reasonable prices.
Chief Minister requested the Cement Companies to prominently publicize the rates of their product area wise besides directing their retailers to display price of the commodity per bag outside their stores so that consumers were aware of the rates of the cement of different companies. He said that the district administration would also keep a vigil over the rate lists and ensure that no overcharging was being carried by retailers. He said that rationalization of cement prices was the need of the hour which had yielded desired outcome. He advised the Cement companies to keep the interest of common man of the state in mind while considering any change in prices.
Industries Minister Kishan Kapoor said that he had personally been pursing the matter relating to rationalization of prices with cement companies and urging them to reduce the prices. He said that the reduction in cement prices was a welcome step which was bound to benefit the common man. Ajay Tyagi, Principal Secretary Industries, welcomed the Chief Minister and Industries Minister to the meeting and apprised them of the status of cement prices in the State compared to prices in neighbouring states.
J.S.Rana, Director Industries, Dinesh Malhotra, Additional Director of Industries, Rajender Chauhan, Industrial Advisor, representatives of cement companies and other concerned officers attended the meeting.