Cement prices


Sir: The recent price raise by cement manufacturers needs readers to hark back to 1998/99 when the price of a cement bag was Rs 140. It was the period when all cement plants were using furnace oil to run their systems.
But when General Musharraf’s era started, all manufacturers started converting their cement manufacturing plants from furnace oil to coal. The reason being that the cost of coal was one-fourth that of furnace oil. All of a sudden, the price of cement was increased from Rs 140 to Rs 240 per bag. Surprisingly, there was no protest whatsoever!
The rise in the price of cement from time to time is most unjustifiable, as there is no raw material (imported/local) used in its manufacturing.
The fuel bill after conversion from furnace oil to coal is reduced from 100 percent to 25 percent and the coal which is burnt during the process along with its ash, amounting to 15 percent of the coal burnt, is also mixed in the cement.
One ton of furnace oil costs manufacturers Rs 80,000 whereas two tons of coal cost between Rs 26,000 and Rs 28,000.
Is there any authority to counter these elements?


Mobin Niazi


Karachi

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