Association of Builders and Constructors Association of Pakistan to launch joint struggle against illegal profiteering by the Cement Cartel

Karachi: The Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan and the Constructors Association of Pakistan have announced to launch a joint struggle against illegal profiteering by the Cement Cartel. This was decided in a joint meeting held in ABAD House which was attended by Mr. Ahmed Ghazal Usmani, Chairman CAP, Mr. Naeemuddin Siddiqui , Member Executive Committee CAP, Mr. Mohsin Sheikhani, Chairman ABAD, Mr. M Arif Siddik, Vice Chairman ABAD and Mr. Saleem Kassim Patel, Chairman-Sindh Baluchistan Region-ABAD. Addressing gathering on this occasion, the Chairman ABAD,

Mr. Mohsin Sheikhani said that arbitrary increase in the price of cement amounts to illegal profiteering which has affected the construction industry negatively. This has not only made the housing unit out of reach for common man but is also reducing the employment opportunities and affecting the 70 industries allied to construction industry. Quoting figures, he said that construction of 100 residential units, creates around 1070 direct and indirect job opportunities.

He said that in a situation when there is a backlog of 8.8 million houses, if the construction industry stops construction activities, one could imagine the flood of unemployment because of this situation. He strongly said that the Government must pressurize the cement manufacturers to work up to 100 % capacity.

Mr. Mohsin Sheikhani said that if we compare production figures of cement for 2010 and 2011, it becomes crystal clear that the Cement Manufacturers are deliberately producing lesser quantity. The Chairman ABAD said on this occasion that the Cement manufacturers will have to meet the domestic requirements before exporting as this is a question of life and death for the construction industry.

The Chairman CAP said on this occasion that members of his Association have been affected by the increase in cement prices exactly the same as the construction industry. He said that Cement Cartel is a Big Mafia which has its links up to Islamabad .He assured that his Association will jointly raise this issue at the highest forum and if our demands are not accepted we will go to Islamabad and stage a sit in protest.

Vice Chairman ABAD Arif Siddik said that if cement prices are not brought back to previous level the construction sector will have no option but to cease all construction activities. The illegal escalation in prices of cement will force the common man to share the additional cost in prices of housing units which will be unbearable for them.

The lower and middle income groups are already crippled due to high cost of living. Vice Chairman ABAD added that in the past the Competition Commission of Pakistan has imposed fines of six billion rupees.

Saleem Kassim Patel Chairman Sindh Balochistan Region said the reasons given by the cement cartel for increasing the price of cement are does not stand ground as all the raw materials used in the production cement are available locally and abundantly.

Similarly the supply of gas has considerably increased for industries due to change in weather and a very cheap source of energy which is old tires is also being used. In presence of this it is impossible to comprehend why the cement prices are being raised.

Chairmen of both the associations were in complete agreement about their efforts to unify all the relevant stake holders on one platform to strengthen their stance. They demanded the government should take serious actions against the price increase without any reason and take steps to bring the prices down and in the common interest of the public, construction sector and its allied industries the cement industry should be warned not raise prices, stop illegal profit taking and break the cartel.

For more information, contact:
Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan
ABAD House, ST-1/D, Block-16,
UAN: 111-11-ABAD (2223)
Fax: 34613648

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