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Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Shanti and Sadhana through Music Road development slows down Gas is the way forward Music happens Tribute – M V Murugappan S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Tax agriculture Tribute Discoms deserve better… The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Making ‘my Amaravati’... ONGC at KG Basin Silver Years of Madras Musings CII projects higher growth… For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Sri Lanka votes for change Solar, solar everywhere … When nations steal growth from one another… Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS The few handicaps... For whom the bell tolls? Adharma of opposition politics Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Why this malaise in medical education? Rahman at CIC Plummeting profits of PSBs …and of a popular trade leader Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Shipping woes of Chennai companies West Bengal: mindless malignancy Muffled voices for merit… Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Medical costs hit the roof... CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL The Jan Dhan bonanza EEC at the National Media Centre All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Small units prefers to remain small... Waning interest in public discussions… Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu When small is no larger beautiful.. Valli, they are more marginalised Cutting the nose to spite the face Noble nonagenarians... More Shakti to resource mobilisation... The rise and rise of KCP China invests in India Increasing non co-operation of state leaders No Maha Koottani in TN... An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Revive development banks... TIAM turns a full cycle New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Modi and the lady When online building permits work…. A more liberated TN… Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Solar thermal shines… L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… B H Kothari - a tribute TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector IPL type auction for VCs? Paytm karo... Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Kinetic Karnataka Tough task taking states together How Air-India loses customs... A friendly business group TGS- The king storyteller Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Multi-faceted Venkat Engineering seats go abegging Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Mu Sigma – is no more Banning booze... He saved millions from starvation... Towards speedy justice An enemy’s enemy is a friend Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Russi Mody – a tribute Return to king coal for urea... Welcome focus on core competence SoA @ 80 More tributes to GR Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu GM Technology at last! Auto components surge… Secularism and anti-Hinduism Fortune 500 review Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Robber barons everywhere An inexplicable neglect A glass full of corruption PC’s preference for professionals L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Convulsions in The Hindu Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Why land prices zoom in TN? A welcome initiative by the judiciary Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! The nuclear option MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Airlines in India: cost and space A yen for wastage… London, London Narayan Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Funding the un-funded Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad The star of Spencers is no more Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ IAS invades NDDB... GNS - 100: our first subscriber Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Things happen by accident and not by design... Breaththrough in malaria control Build close rapport with business leaders More heat than light Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked 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 Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Kudos to NDTV... Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Roaring Ro-Ro facility Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Another Indian music maestro at the UN CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Pharma – overdose of copying Mersal magnified Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Quality silica from Neyveli Streamlining mandatory third party cover A professional at the helm of IRDA... There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Strengthen the base... Haul over the coal Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel The balancing act Delhi is distant A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Maximising the micro pricing … Welcome GST He continues the focus on social amelioration TELANGANA at last…BUT Fortune for Indian Airlines Readers' Mail Wise Presidents Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Five star activism stalls development activity Building loyalty through the stomach Where is Rajaji? Shale gas and its shallow future Of course, Gujarat is vibrant No engine for this car Nuclear power at the nucleus When the President was rendered homeless… Come elections, come advertisements... Tatas moving out of urea production... Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Permanent secretariat for TN GIM A think tank for Chennai Moily’s bold thrust Cement prices continue to rise… Revving up the manufacturing sector Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Should we change the official year? Align crops to agro climate endowments… Parliament in paralysis... Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Quality education through the PPP mode The Swadeshi Trump Modi storms Silicon Valley A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Vibrant Gujarat Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Where a state respects its litterateurs… Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Editor's Notes Put expensive assets created to use... Gay abandon in pricing Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model A proud Madrasi Poor quality of university VCs When Ratan Tata visited SRM The power-full Hindujas Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... This scant respect for Law Delhi is distant… F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing The brown list of Venkitaramanan The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Editor's Says The why of tax incentives Intellectual of rare qualities PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Telangana in top gear… Contrarian cousins R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital The sea- saw battle continues... The Gulf aviation boom IPL - no surprise this scam Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Kulandai was a giant Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Delhi returns to BJP Demise of a media baron... TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Sweeter prospects for sugar Protest masters... Boy, can you beat these? Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Computation of GDP – conundrums continue When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Make standards certification mandatory... Fuel for thought Polls and promises EVM is tamper-proof Sweet news for TN sugar mills Preserving for the future Delhi Chalo... Tatas moving out of urea production... The rise and fall of Annamalai University Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Which side are you, Montek?
 
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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