Nitin Gadkari, India’s road and transport minister, speaks during The Bloomberg Address in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Gadkari Warns Steel And Cement Firms Against Forming Cartels

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today warned companies, especially in the cement and steel sectors, of stern action if they formed cartels to increase the prices of key infrastructure commodities.

“The cost of construction has increased due to cartels. And I will not hesitate in making allegations against them [the companies]...now the rates of cement have increased,” said the minister of road transport & highways, shipping, water resources, river development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

With infrastructure sector witnessing an upswing in activities in recent years, Gadkari said the emphasis of new technologies should be to reduce the cost of projects without compromising on quality. Gadkari observed that there was no increase in the royalty, labour charges, yet the costs spiralled.

"Rates there [in the steel industry] have also increased. Now the cost of sand is equal to the cost of cement," he said.

If the people are taking disadvantage of all the construction that is taking place in the country by making a cartel then it is time for the government to take stern action against them, Gadkari said.

He noted that the government does not have any problem in companies earning profits but they should be “reasonable” in it. “If somebody is going to exploit then it is not good. It is the duty of the government to control it and we are seriously thinking [on it],” he said.