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AREIDA protests high construction material prices

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Aug 31 � The Assam Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers� Association (AREIDA) today asked the government to link the subsidies under the North East Investment and Industrial Policy (NEIIP) with the selling price of the products, so that the benefits can also reach to the public.

Alleging that the benefits given in the policy � designed for faster progress of the North East � are only swelling the coffers of the big capitalists, the association demanded to make it a criminal offence if the companies immediately close down the industry as soon as the subsidy period is over.

Protesting the �exorbitant� prices of construction materials in the region, the real estate association revealed that per bag of locally manufactured cement, that costs the manufacturers around Rs 67, is sold at the rate of Rs 340 to Rs 360 in the State, which is much higher than the prices of same material in the other States, who are not even getting such tax exemption and other benefits from the Union Government.

Members of the association would meet the Union Finance Minister in September to apprise him of the ground realities of NEIIP in the North East.

Addressing a press meet here, PK Sharma, president of AREIDA, said that being a bulk consumer of the construction materials, the association carried out a survey of the materials like steel and cement in other States and found that in Durgapur of West Bengal the price of structural steel was Rs 28,000 per metric tonne (MT), whereas the same product manufactured in the region costs Rs 34,000 per MT despite being heavily subsidized.

�Top brands of cement in South India cost between Rs 125 to Rs 150 per bag without subsidy, while the same product of the local industries costs between Rs 340 to Rs 360 here. Interestingly, various brands of cement manufactured outside that come to Guwahati have a landed cost of Rs 215 per bag, that also includes the transportation,� Sharma mentioned.

Under the NEIIP, the local industries avail certain benefits including 100 per cent income tax exemption, exemption of excise duty, transport subsidy, manpower subsidy, power subsidy, genset subsidy, 30 per cent capital subsidy and 99 per cent VAT exemption. Thus an assessment by the association shows that on a total production cost of Rs 177 per bag of cement in the North East, the manufacturers get a subsidy of around Rs 110 that brings the production cost to nearly Rs 67 per bag only.

AREIDA also stressed the need to ensure 90 per cent local employment evenly from top to bottom in the hierarchy and emphasised on bringing small and medium industries like the tea industry under the NEIIP. It also called upon the local youths to come up and avail the benefits of the NEIIP and asked the common people to build strong consumers� movement to rationalize the price structure to legitimate levels.

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AREIDA protests high construction material prices

GUWAHATI, Aug 31 � The Assam Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers� Association (AREIDA) today asked the government to link the subsidies under the North East Investment and Industrial Policy (NEIIP) with the selling price of the products, so that the benefits can also reach to the public.

Alleging that the benefits given in the policy � designed for faster progress of the North East � are only swelling the coffers of the big capitalists, the association demanded to make it a criminal offence if the companies immediately close down the industry as soon as the subsidy period is over.

Protesting the �exorbitant� prices of construction materials in the region, the real estate association revealed that per bag of locally manufactured cement, that costs the manufacturers around Rs 67, is sold at the rate of Rs 340 to Rs 360 in the State, which is much higher than the prices of same material in the other States, who are not even getting such tax exemption and other benefits from the Union Government.

Members of the association would meet the Union Finance Minister in September to apprise him of the ground realities of NEIIP in the North East.

Addressing a press meet here, PK Sharma, president of AREIDA, said that being a bulk consumer of the construction materials, the association carried out a survey of the materials like steel and cement in other States and found that in Durgapur of West Bengal the price of structural steel was Rs 28,000 per metric tonne (MT), whereas the same product manufactured in the region costs Rs 34,000 per MT despite being heavily subsidized.

�Top brands of cement in South India cost between Rs 125 to Rs 150 per bag without subsidy, while the same product of the local industries costs between Rs 340 to Rs 360 here. Interestingly, various brands of cement manufactured outside that come to Guwahati have a landed cost of Rs 215 per bag, that also includes the transportation,� Sharma mentioned.

Under the NEIIP, the local industries avail certain benefits including 100 per cent income tax exemption, exemption of excise duty, transport subsidy, manpower subsidy, power subsidy, genset subsidy, 30 per cent capital subsidy and 99 per cent VAT exemption. Thus an assessment by the association shows that on a total production cost of Rs 177 per bag of cement in the North East, the manufacturers get a subsidy of around Rs 110 that brings the production cost to nearly Rs 67 per bag only.

AREIDA also stressed the need to ensure 90 per cent local employment evenly from top to bottom in the hierarchy and emphasised on bringing small and medium industries like the tea industry under the NEIIP. It also called upon the local youths to come up and avail the benefits of the NEIIP and asked the common people to build strong consumers� movement to rationalize the price structure to legitimate levels.