Price hike aimed to benefit Bharati Cements, says TDP


Jagan supporting cement syndicate for J-tax collections: Pattabhi
Demands Cabinet Sub Committee to bring down prices

AMARAVATI: Telugu Desam Party National Spokesman Kommareddy Pattabhi on Sunday slammed the YCP Government for imposing a heavy burden on the common man by hiking cement prices upto Rs. 350 to Rs. 400 per bag giving a further blow to the already ailing construction industry in the State.
Mr. Pattabhi alleged that the latest price hike was only aimed at benefitting Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s own Bharati Cements in which their family still got 49 percent stake and his wife Bharati was a director. The company’s latest financial report had also indicated that they got a ‘record profitability’ thanks to the hike in selling prices in Andhra Pradesh.
Addressing a press conference here, the TDP leader accused the Chief Minister of encouraging the cement companies syndicate to hike prices in the past 19 months regardless of the fact that it was crushing the dream of the average poor family in the State to build their own houses. CM Jagan was not in a position to control the cement prices also as he had already collected thousands of crores J-tax from the companies since the beginning by creating artificial sand shortage and collapse of the construction industry in AP.
Mr. Pattabhi demanded the CM to form a Cabinet Sub Committee to bring down the cement prices immediately. This was badly necessary considering how the construction workers even resorted to suicides unable to find work opportunities. Steep hikes by Rs. 80 to Rs. 100 per bag of cement were unacceptable. Bharati Cements was born out of the stench of corruption resorted to by Jagan Reddy during his father YSR regime. Later, 51 percent major share in the company was sold to French company Vicat. The AP people should understand the true colours of CM Jagan and reject his corrupt regime.
Stating that the Chandrababu Naidu rule regulated the cement companies in the past, Mr. Pattabhi asked why the YCP Government was not able to do the same now. While the common man was forced to buy cement at steep prices in AP, the Jagan-favoured companies of Megha Engineering and those of Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy were getting cement at far lower prices. N. Srinivasan of India Cements was also part of the AP cement syndicate and he also had a share in the Bharati Cements and the Jagati Publications. Srinivasan had faced charges made by the Enforcement Directorate and he was fined for Rs. 187 Cr by the Competition Commission of India following complaints made by the builders.
Mr. Pattabhi deplored that CM Jagan was just celebrating his own festivals at his Tadepalli palace without bothering about the increasing sorrow and suffering of the common public in the State.