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KARACHI: Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) has rejected up to Rs11,000 recent hike in the prices of steel bars within a short span of 15 days.

ABAD Chairman Fayyaz Ilyas is of the view that if the government did not take stern action against steel manufacturers’ cartel then Naya Pakistan Housing Program would become a distant dream, demanding the government to take measures for stabilizing steel prices through abrogation of Regulatory Duty (RD) and Additional Regulatory Duty (ARD) on the steel import.

He said that steel manufacturers had increased the price of steel bars per ton by Rs. 5000 taking the price to Rs 151500 per ton on June 24, 2021. However, after 14 days the price of steel bars has again increased by Rs. 6000, taking it to Rs. 157500 per ton, which he termed as unacceptable.

He said that ever increasing prices of steel bars would make construction costlier that middle class people would not be able to construct or purchase a home and added that the present government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, understanding the importance of this industry for economic growth, has announced a special package for the revival of the construction industry in particular and national economy in general. But, with the restart of construction activities, steel manufacturers’ cartel has raised prices of steel bars- an important component for construction - many times, making construction more and more costly. He demanded of the federal government to abolish Regulatory Duty and Additional Regulatory Duty on import of steel bars to stabilize steel bars price so that construction industry could be saved from total collapse and the dream of the Prime Minister of constructing 5 million houses for people from lower strata of the society could be realized and national economy could be strengthened.

If immediate action is not taken to stop the increase in steel bars price, then the Naya Pakistan Housing Program could never be realized, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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