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KARACHI: Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD), while expressing deep concern over hike in steel bars’ prices, has announced to continue protest against cartelization of manufacturers and stopped purchasing steel at arbitrary prices.

Khawar Munir, Senior Vice Chairman of ABAD, in an appeal to the members, urged them to continue to suspend the purchase of steel until the manufacturers bring the prices back to normal.

“With the announcement of the mini-budget, the steel manufacturers increased the price of steel to 3.5 lakh rupees per tone while the price of a sack of cement also exceeded 1000 rupees,” adding that the construction industry had already been suffering due to cost overruns, and now the cost of basic raw materials will sink the construction industry as the manufacturers had hiked the prices of steel enormously through cartelization which has hike cost of construction projects manifold.

He feared that most of the construction projects will completely be stopped, as a result of which the people will not be able to get possession of the residential units in time, while 72 industries related to the construction industry will also be adversely affected.

Khawar Munir demanded the government to take notice of the cartelization of steel manufacturers and the huge increase in steel prices, and to take effective measures to normalize the prices while also withdrawing the regulatory duty imposed on cement.

Otherwise, construction activities will come to a complete halt, causing huge losses to the country and rendering millions of skilled workers unemployed, he concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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