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The why of tax incentives Come elections, come advertisements... Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Quality education through the PPP mode Welcome focus on core competence A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Kulandai was a giant The Gulf aviation boom Another Indian music maestro at the UN A rich pool of talent not utilised…. A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Intellectual of rare qualities Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Roaring Ro-Ro facility Road development slows down Silver Years of Madras Musings Kinetic Karnataka Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Sweeter prospects for sugar Gas is the way forward A friendly business group A proud Madrasi Medical costs hit the roof... New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Kudos to NDTV... Fortune for Indian Airlines Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Gay abandon in pricing Increasing non co-operation of state leaders For whom the bell tolls? Delhi is distant Strengthen the base... 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Chennai devastated Tough task taking states together No Maha Koottani in TN... Things happen by accident and not by design... Editor's Says CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Banning booze... Tatas moving out of urea production... Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... No engine for this car When small is no larger beautiful.. Secularism and anti-Hinduism When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Parliament in paralysis... A glass full of corruption Wise Presidents Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Put expensive assets created to use... Shale gas and its shallow future PC’s preference for professionals CII projects higher growth… Airlines in India: cost and space Delhi is distant… No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu An inexplicable neglect Auto components surge… Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Five star activism stalls development activity Revving up the manufacturing sector Pharma – overdose of copying Cement prices continue to rise… Building loyalty through the stomach Breaththrough in malaria control ONGC at KG Basin Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Multi-faceted Venkat China invests in India L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Build close rapport with business leaders How Air-India loses customs... Robber barons everywhere Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Russi Mody – a tribute Waning interest in public discussions… Modi storms Silicon Valley Of course, Gujarat is vibrant When Ratan Tata visited SRM Should we change the official year? Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Demise of a media baron... More tributes to GR B H Kothari - a tribute IAS invades NDDB... More Shakti to resource mobilisation... CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Valli, they are more marginalised The sea- saw battle continues... Making ‘my Amaravati’... There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Align crops to agro climate endowments… Polls and promises The star of Spencers is no more Haul over the coal Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Sri Lanka votes for change When the President was rendered homeless… When online building permits work…. More heat than light Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Sweet news for TN sugar mills A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… A welcome initiative by the judiciary Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Contrarian cousins Music happens Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Fuel for thought Modi and the lady Which side are you, Montek? Solar thermal shines… Noble nonagenarians... Shipping woes of Chennai companies Discoms deserve better… EVM is tamper-proof Poor quality of university VCs
 
Cement prices continue to rise…

There has been only modest success in controlling the rise in prices. Despite claims of big success in controlling inflation, there are run away increases in several items of common consumption. A paradox here relates to the creation of high capacity but low capacity utilisation and soaring prices. Cement and steel offer the most glaring examples. Cement manufacturers complain of working to just around 60 per cent of capacity. One doesn’t notice much of an increase in the cost of inputs like limestone.  

Yet look at the price distortion: a bag of cement in Chennai is sold at  Rs. 420 while it is sold around Rs. 300 in Delhi. The price has doubled in less than five years. There is already a case pending before the Competitive Commission of India which has charged several cement manufacturers of cartelisation. Likewise steel producers continue to increase prices by claiming better quality of structural steel; they seem to graduate year after year- from Fe430 to Fe500 and now Fe550 grades of steel. Manufacturers claim that the increased strength that should logically result in reduced consumption per unit of construction thus helping in price stability. But contractors do not agree. The result is unrelenting increase in cost of construction material that has resulted in unaffordable levels of housing prices. Property prices in prime locations in the city like K K Nagar have shot up from a level of Rs. 800 to 1000 a sq ft in 2001 to Rs. 11,000 to 12,000 per sq ft today. This in turn has led to huge unsold properties.

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