New Delhi: The government will not administer cement prices, despite manufacturers of the construction material resorting to frequent hikes in rates, the Rajya Sabha was informed on 22 August.
However, to ensure adequate availability of cement in the market, public sector MMTC has been given a special dispensation license to import the material, Minister of State for Commerce, Ashwani Kumar, said in a written reply.
The government has also removed the 12.5% import duty on the commodity, along with countervailing duty and special additional customs duty.
According to the Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA), the cement prices in the country has climbed to Rs229 in July this year from Rs158 in December 2005.
At present, anti-monopoly watchdog MRTPC is hearing nine cases against cement producers on whether a cartel was pushing up prices.