Chairman Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) Fayyaz Ilyas, demanding stern action against cement manufacturers cartel, has said that continuously increase in prices of cement and steel bars will badly damage construction industry and the government will not be able to achieve target of Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.
In a statement, Chairman ABAD said that cement and steel manufactures started raising prices of cement and steel bars when construction activities came to take off mode with the announcement of Special Package for construction industry by the Prime Minister.
He said that continuous increase of cement and steel bars prices by cement and steel manufacturers is a conspiracy against Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme and national economy.
He urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to take action against cement and steel manufacturers just like the government had taken action against sugar mills owners and appoint a commission.
He said that due to ever increasing prices of cement and steel builders are facing difficulties to complete their projects and on the other hand common people are unable to build their dream homes.
Fayyaz Ilyas said that the construction industry, after agriculture, is the largest job provider and if the conspiracy against this industry is not stopped, thousands of skilled and unskilled workers will lose their livelihood and national economy will have irreparable loss.
He said that it is high time to reactivate Competition Commission of Pakistan to take action against cement and steel manufacturers cartels.
He recalled that steel bar price per ton was PKR 110000 in November 2020 and today this price is PKR 178500, which shows increase of more than PKR 68000 per ton during last 10 months.
On the other hand cement prices are also raised to PKR 680 per 50 kg bag; he said adding that 60 percent of total cost of a high rise building consists of cement and steel while this ratio is 30 to 40 percent in a normal residential project.
He said that in this situation the federal government will not be able to fulfill its promise of constructing 5 million low cost houses.