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The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Another Indian music maestro at the UN ONGC at KG Basin When Ratan Tata visited SRM Should we change the official year? Plummeting profits of PSBs Breaththrough in malaria control CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model IAS invades NDDB... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Delhi is distant… R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector …and of a popular trade leader EEC at the National Media Centre Auto components surge… Tax agriculture When small is no larger beautiful.. Delhi returns to BJP More heat than light A yen for wastage… CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. 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The balancing act Computation of GDP – conundrums continue He continues the focus on social amelioration Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ TELANGANA at last…BUT Rahman at CIC Silver Years of Madras Musings IPL type auction for VCs? Editor's Says Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked TGS- The king storyteller Robber barons everywhere Tatas moving out of urea production... Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Multi-faceted Venkat Sweet news for TN sugar mills S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Shale gas and its shallow future More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Discoms deserve better… Haul over the coal A think tank for Chennai Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Demise of a media baron... Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami He saved millions from starvation... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. 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SoA @ 80 Where a state respects its litterateurs… Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Gas is the way forward Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Tough task taking states together Of course, Gujarat is vibrant A welcome initiative by the judiciary When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Sweeter prospects for sugar L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Welcome GST Build close rapport with business leaders Cutting the nose to spite the face When online building permits work…. New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… For whom the bell tolls? Excel Generators provide the vital back-up An enemy’s enemy is a friend Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Russi Mody – a tribute
 
Cement prices continue to rise…

There has been only modest success in controlling the rise in prices. Despite claims of big success in controlling inflation, there are run away increases in several items of common consumption. A paradox here relates to the creation of high capacity but low capacity utilisation and soaring prices. Cement and steel offer the most glaring examples. Cement manufacturers complain of working to just around 60 per cent of capacity. One doesn’t notice much of an increase in the cost of inputs like limestone.  

Yet look at the price distortion: a bag of cement in Chennai is sold at  Rs. 420 while it is sold around Rs. 300 in Delhi. The price has doubled in less than five years. There is already a case pending before the Competitive Commission of India which has charged several cement manufacturers of cartelisation. Likewise steel producers continue to increase prices by claiming better quality of structural steel; they seem to graduate year after year- from Fe430 to Fe500 and now Fe550 grades of steel. Manufacturers claim that the increased strength that should logically result in reduced consumption per unit of construction thus helping in price stability. But contractors do not agree. The result is unrelenting increase in cost of construction material that has resulted in unaffordable levels of housing prices. Property prices in prime locations in the city like K K Nagar have shot up from a level of Rs. 800 to 1000 a sq ft in 2001 to Rs. 11,000 to 12,000 per sq ft today. This in turn has led to huge unsold properties.

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