Cement prices in some parts of India have been raised by Rs10-12 per 50 kg bag from 1 March, following a revision in excise duty announced in the Union Budget, industry officials said on 1 February.
Prices in western and northern India have been raised by Rs12 per 50kg bag, Cement Stockists & Dealers Association of Bombay president Sanjay Ladiwala said. India Cements has raised prices by Rs12 per 50kg bag, its vice-chairman and managing director N. Srinivasan said.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram in the Budget raised the excise duty on cement priced above Rs190 per 50kg from Rs400 to Rs600 per tonne. Duty on cheaper cement bags was cut to Rs350.
Ladiwala said the average wholesale price of cement in Mumbai after the increase would be Rs233 per 50kg bag and the retail price Rs245. “There would be plus or minus Rs5 per bag difference depending on the brand.”
“We are looking at it (raising prices) as it’s linked to net realization,” said Ashish Guha, managing director of Mysore Cements Ltd, now part of Germany’s biggest cement maker, Heidelberg Cement.
He said input costs were too high and the incremental money would go to the exchequer. “We will take a final call in the next few days and the price rise will be Rs11-12 per bag,” said M.K. Singhi, executive director of Shree Cement.
Industry experts had said on Wednesday that cement prices were more than Rs190 per bag in most parts of the country and added duty burden would be passed on to customers.
Shares of cement companies ACC Ltd, Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd, India Cements Ltd and UltraTech Cement Ltd ended 2-3.6% lower on the Bombay stock exchange.