Govt asks cement manufacturers reasons for raising prices

The government does not want the cement price issue to affect its commitment to build affordable homes. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry has begun talks with cement industry players to find out their reasons for raising prices.

Its minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the discussion was necessary to ensure the speedy settlement of the issue without adversely affecting the government’s commitment to build affordable houses for the public.

“The discussion will continue until the matter is resolved, as we need to hear the industry players’ side of the story. We will discuss whether the price hike is due to the cost of doing business, for example.

“If they give cost as the reason, we want to know whether it is a fixed cost or variable cost, and so on,” he told reporters while attending a Hari Raya celebration hosted by Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd here today.

In a statement yesterday, the ministry said cement manufacturers had been issued a notice under Section 21 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 to explain why they were raising prices.

Failure to do so within seven days will result in action being taken against them.

It was reported that cement suppliers had notified customers that cement prices would go up by 40% to 50% on June 15 or July 1.