Saturday, April 25, 2009

Builder body opposes hike in cement prices

The builder lobby wants the government to appoint a regulator to oversee the cement industry. This should get the award for the world's smallest violin. "The increase in prices of cement is directly affecting the affordable housing projects.” Now we know why housing is so expensive in Mumbai. Its the cement stupid!!!

The Builders' Association of India (BAI) has strongly opposed the continuing hike in cement prices that is hitting the construction industry hard. They have also demanded setting up of a strict regulatory authority on the lines of SEBI that will ensure that unfair trade practices are not permitted from the cement industry.
The association has called for a total ban on the exports of cement. According to the BAI, the existing Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) does not have penalising clauses to check the malpractices of cement companies. Anand Gupta, secretary, BAI, said that though the government has reduced the excise duty from 12% to 8%, exempted VAT, allowed free import, reduced rail fares, approved the use of fly ash, prices of cement have not reduced. And hence there is a need for a strict law to put a check on these.
While price reductions have been seen all around with a view to stimulate demand, cement manufacturers have resorted to a threefold increase in price (from Rs.15 to Rs. 30 per bag across the country) starting from February 2009. Sunil Mantri, president elect, MCHI, said, "The increase in prices of cement is directly affecting the affordable housing projects.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wall Street bankers in rage

NYMag has an excellent article on life after the crash for Wall St bankers. This is one of the best articles I've read on this topic and the comments are even better as they truly reflect the public's mood towards the wailing bankers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CNN-IBN reporting on property declines

Reading the report it is still not clear why Pune prices are higher then prime areas of Bangalore. Sadashiv Nagar is Bangalore is one of the most sought out places to live in. How come this price is lower then Koregoan Park in Pune ? Most likely answer would be that the reporting of Pune prices is manipulated due to vested interests. Does anybody think otherwise ?
If you have been unsure about the current state of property market, here are some definite pointers that suggest the rates are going down south. According to the latest reports released by Knight Frank India Pvt Ltd (March 2009), property rates across metro cities have dropped. The fall in rates are especially tangible in overheated pockets, which hitherto had witnessed phenomenal rise, such as Noida and Gurgaon in the National Capital Region; Goregaon, Borivili, Vashi and Mulund in Mumbai and Koramangala in Bangalore.
Here is a link to the pricing.