KARACHI: Chairman Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) Mr. Fayyaz Ilyas has demanded a curb on the prices of construction raw materials especially cement and iron and steel bars, He asked the authorities to take stern action against the cartel of cement manufacturers. He said that the continuous rise in prices of cement and steel bars would cause irreparable damage to the construction industry and if this price hike is not stopped then the government wouldn’t achieve the target of the New Pakistan Housing Scheme.
In his statement, Chairman Abad said that with the announcement of the special package by the Prime Minister for the construction industry, the start of continuous rise in prices of cement and steel bars by cement and steel manufacturers was in fact sheer against the New Pakistan Housing Scheme and the national economy. There exists a certain conspiracy because the announcement of the government package had opened the door of tremendous activities in the construction sector. He also urged upon the need of forming a commission to make a proper inquiry as per the model of the probe made in the case of Sugar Mafia.
Fayyaz Ilyas said that due to these rising prices of cement and steel, builders are becoming unable to fulfill their plans, even people are now limited to just dreaming of getting their dream home. He said that after agriculture, the role of the industry was most prominent in providing employment on a large scale, and if the conspiracy against this industry was not stopped, mass unemployment would spread and the national economy would be devastated. He demanded reactivation of the Competition Commission of Pakistan so that full action could be taken against the cement and steel manufacturing cartels.
He pointed out that in the last 10 months alone, the price of iron and steel has gone up by Rs 68,000 per ton and the price of cement by Rs 680 per 50 kg bag. If this trend is not controlled, it is feared that the federal government will fail to deliver on its promise to build 5 million low-cost homes.