Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said cement and steel factories are exploiting people by levying higher rates and indicated that there is an active cartel in both industries.
Gadkari was addressing the meeting of the Western Region segment of the Builders’ Association of India. During the meeting, Gadkari said that if both industries keep charging higher prices, it will affect the implementation of infrastructure projects in the count.
“Cement factories are exploiting the situation. It’s not in national interests. We’re planning to implement infrastructure projects worth ₹111 lakh crores in the next 5 years. If rates of steel and cement continue like this, it’ll be very difficult for us,” Gadkari was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
He also said that steel companies have not increased their power and labour costs but still continue to charge higher prices. He said, “There is a cartel in the cement and steel industry. Every steel company has its own iron ore mines & there has been no increase in labour and power costs but they are increasing rates.”
Gadkari on Thursday said the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways are aiming to build 40 km of roads per day by March this year. He also highlighted that the National Highways Authority of India intends to build 60,000 km of highways within the next five years which will include 2,500 km of express highways. The plan also includes building 9,000 km of economic corridors, 2,000 km each for coastal and strategic border roads. Gadkari highlighted that NHAI also plans to connect 100 tourist destinations and 45 through highways.