New Delhi: Apparently peeved by the high prices of cement, Wednesday said it understood the need of businesses to earn profits but would not tolerate profiteering.
“We are reviewing cement prices from time to time. While cement companies can make profits, profiteering cannot be allowed,” Commerce Minister Kamal Nath told reporters here.
The minister’s statement comes days after the Tamil Nadu government threatened to nationalise cement companies if private producers failed to check the prices of the construction material.
Nath, however, admitted that there was a demand-supply gap, to plug which the the government has been liberal with imports. “The long term answer lies in capacity building. So, with new capacities coming in, I think there will be softening in the area,” he said.
“There is a huge increase in construction and this has led to the gap. we need to looking at greater imports (too),” the minister said.
Cement prices are ruling in the range of Rs 240 per 50 kg bag now, but cost less than Rs 200 one and a half years ago.