KARACHI: Association of Builders & Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) and the Constructors Association of Pakistan (CAP) joined hands on Thursday to launch a campaign against alleged illegal profiteering by the cement industry. Heads of both associations pledged that they would take all stakeholders on board to solidify their stance.
The price of a 50-kilogramme bag of cement has surged to Rs435 from Rs365 in the last six months.
During a joint meeting, ABAD Chairman Mohsin Sheikhani said that abnormal increases in the price of cement has amounted to illegal profiteering by the cartel and affected negatively on the construction industry. This chain reaction has in turn made the housing units unaffordable for the common man already burdened by massive living costs, Sheikhani added.
Analysing the cement production figures for 2010 and 2011, Sheikhani alleged that cement manufacturers are intentionally creating a shortage and they should satisfy local demands first rather than export.
ABAD members have already hoisted black flags and put up banners at all construction sites in Pakistan, condemning the rise in cement prices.
Connecting the numbers, he explained that production of 100 residential units creates 1,070 employment opportunities as 70 industries are connected to the construction industry alone, so if the wheel stops turning over, the market will be flooded by unemployment.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2012.