To check the cement prices in the state, Himachal Pradesh government has directed the cement companies (ACC, Ambuja and JayPee) to reduce the prices by Rs 25 per bag. Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy will hold a meeting with representatives of the three cement companies to discuss the issue with them.
It’s learned that the Congress government has decided to act tough to ensure cements to consumers at prices lower than those in neighbouring states. In this regard, the Govt has directed the cement companies to furnish complete details of manufacturing cost, transportation charges and local taxes in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. The government will then be in a position to compare whether the practice of selling cement at a higher price in Himachal Pradesh is justified.
The price of a cement bag in neighboring states ranges between Rs 295 and Rs 300, while in Himachal Pradesh it is being sold at between Rs 330 and Rs 360 and Govt isn’t happy with the fact that people of the state in which the companies have their plants are being charged a higher price than consumers in Punjab and Haryana. However, the cement industry justifies the high prices on account of the high transportation cost.
Even in the previous BJP regime, the cements companies had reduced the prices of cement by about Rs 25 per bag. The companies had sold cement at reduced prices for some time, but they went back to original prices after a while.