Shillong, June 28: The BJP Meghalaya unit has served a 30-day deadline to the Congress-led government to regulate the price of cement and roll back the price hiked by cement companies operating in the state.
Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, BJP general secretary Bashailang Khongwir said, “We demanded the state government to roll back the price of cement immediately and regulate the same in the state by making it public.”
“We are giving 30 days time to the Government and cement factories to comply with our demand, failing which, we will be compelled to take stern action, even taking them to Court,” he said.
Accusing the eight cement companies in East Jaintia Hills region of looting the people of the state, Khongwir said, “we have received many complaints from the people against the hike of price of cement being manufactured by these factories in the state.”
According to Khongwir, the price of cement in one month has suddenly increased by more than Rs 100, which worked out to be an increase by more than 35 percent.
The price of cement per bag has gone up from Rs 280 to Rs 400, though the people were expecting that the price of cement would be cheaper.
The BJP leader further questioned as to how the price can be hiked so much without rhymes or reasons.
“The interesting part is that, this is happening just before the Assembly election,”the BJP leader said while accusing nexus between the government and the cement companies.
“We suspect there is a strong nexus between the Government and the factories, because all this is not possible without political back up. The fact of the matter is that, the price of raw materials like limestone and coal has decreased. Before the NGT ban, it was Rs 5000-6000/MT and decreased to Rs 2500-3000/MT,” he said.
According to him, as per information, all raw materials are being dumped only at night, even after the NGT ban, which is highly suspicious.
Meanwhile, the BJP has also formed its own team to investigate into the misutilization of transport subsidies by the factories.
“We are also aware of the misutilization of transport subsidies by all factories which prompted the Central Government to suspend the transport subsidy. Investigation is going on from our side,” he said.
Stating that tax holidays given for 7 years are being extended, Khongwir asked, ” on what pretext are these tax holidays being extended since this is a day light robbery. There are many loop holes in which these companies are exploiting the people of the State.”
The BJP informed that after 30 days, it would come up with all specific details on the matter, while also questioning the legal metrology department of the state government that failed to perform its duty.