New Delhi: India’s government will review the increase in cement prices as companies passed on higher excise duties to customers, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said on 6 March.
The minister will hold meetings with commerce ministry officials to ensure there is “no profiteering” by cement makers, Nath told reporters here. The Indian government and cement companies are trying to find a “way out” of the issue of raised prices, he said.
Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram imposed a dual tax rate on cement in his 28 February budget to persuade companies to limit price increases. The excise rate was raised to Rs600 ($13.5) from Rs400 a tonne for cement sold at Rs190 or more for a 50-kg bag. For cement priced below Rs190 a bag the tax was cut to Rs350 a tonne.
Indian cement makers passed on the increase in duties to its consumers across the nation, H.M. Bangur, vice president of the Cement Manufacturers’ Association of India, said in a phone interview from New Delhi on 5 March.