Himachal to ask cement companies to lower prices

Shimla, March 21 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Thursday said the government would try to convince the cement companies to reduce cement prices in retail.

“A committee headed by the industries minister is on the job,” Virbhadra Singh told the assembly while responding to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s allegations during Question Hour that the cement produced in the state was available at cheaper rates in Punjab and Haryana.
He added that the government was concerned over the issue. “The cement is being manufactured in Himachal and still it’s being sold at higher prices here. It’s a serious concern,” he said.
The chief minister’s intervention came after Food and Civil Supplies Minister G.S. Bali failed to convince the opposition over prevailing higher prices of cement in the state.
The state has four cement mega-plants — Barmana (ACC), Darlaghat (Ambuja), Rajban (CCI) and Bagha (Aypee Himachal Cement Ltd). Their aggregate production capacity is 11 million tonnes a year.