Kolkata, April 21 (IANS) Seeking government intervention to check rising cement prices, a national body of real estate developers on Friday said the spike could create unnecessary roadblocks and impediments in achieving the goal of 'Housing for All' by 2022.
According to the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (Credai), cement prices have witnessed a sudden jump of 20-40 per cent in two months across the country.
"We are pained by complaints of unjustifiable and collusive jacking up of cement prices by manufacturers across India which have the potential to create unnecessary roadblocks and impediments in ensuring housing for all by 2022," Credai Vice-President Sushil Mohta said.
He said the Competition Commission of India, on earlier occasions, had pulled up cement manufacturers for "collusive pricing" and imposed hefty fines on them.
It said a Rs 100 increase in each cement bag results in construction cost going up by at least Rs 50 per square foot.
The industry group has regularly urged central government for swift intervention to put an end to collusive practices in the industry and rein in price hikes.
The association's Bengal unit President Nandu Belani said: "With over 350 affordable projects, providing two million units, in the pipeline, the developers need to contain rising costs to ensure affordable housing for all."
According to the National Housing Bank, 99 per cent of the housing today is affordable and for economically weaker sections.
"While the government has laid emphasis on the housing industry and recognised its needs, especially affordable housing segment, by awarding it infrastructure status, this unjust price rise in cement may jack up construction cost which will have to be passed on to consumers," the developers added.