Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bumiputera contractors upset by cement price increase

Posted on August 6, 2011, Saturday
KUCHING: Malaysian Malays Bumiputera Contractors of Sarawak Branch is crying foul over the price increase of Portland Cement by RM15 per metric tonne (MT) starting August 1.
Its chairman Abang Nasser Abang Haderi said the sole manufacturer in the state, CMS Cement Sdn Bhd, should have taken into consideration the negative impact on the construction and housing industries before deciding to increase the price of cement in the state.
Last Monday, CMS Cement announced a five per cent price increase of its Portland cement through its website and explained that the hike was unavoidable in view of the increasing costs of raw materials and fuel.
The company pointed out that the last time it increased the price of cemen t was three years ago in August 2008.
“Since then, cms cement lowered its price of Portland cement twice, in November 2008 and February 2009, despite continued rising costs of raw materials and a general uptrend in the price of other construction materials such as aggregate stones, sand and steel bars,” the company said in the announcement.
Abang Nasser noted while other industries are being liberalised by the government under the Malaysian Economic Transformation Programme, the cement industry in the state was still monopolised by a single producer.
Abang Nasser said the privileges given by the state government to CMS Cement should have been removed long ago in order to allow a market liberalisation to take place.
“Any increase in the price without any government approval must be discussed and agreed by other industry players otherwise the government should consider opening the door to allow the import of cement to the state to allow for more competition,” he said.

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