KUALA LUMPUR (June 19): Cement producers will not increase the price of cement, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution announced today, reported Malaysiakini.
Saifuddin revealed to the media that this decision came about after the authorities discussed the issue with “cement industry players over the past two days”.
The cement producers’ justification for a price increase was due to “a hike in cost”.
Cement manufacturers said earlier this week that cement prices in Peninsular Malaysia, which have been falling since 2016, have reached a level that is not sustainable, amid the various cost increases the industry is facing.
They said that the industry has been suffering from cost increases such as higher electricity tariff over the past few years following the withdrawal of the special industrial tariff or SIT, and the implementation of the imbalance cost past through or ICPT mechanism.
In addition, they said packing materials have become costlier following the increase in pulp prices, while imported fuel materials, engineering spares as well as equipment have further compounded the problem of rising costs.
The news portal, however, reported Saifuddin saying that any price rise in cement “will impact” Putrajaya’s ambition of building a million affordable homes for the rakyat. He also said that “cement is a controlled item”.
"While the government wants to be a good listener… they [the industry players] have to listen to us too.
"They also agreed that they will apply to the ministry in case they want to increase the price of cement in future," Saifuddin added.
The property portal EdgeProp.my first reported last Friday that local cement companies were mulling a price hike.
Several industry players, including project contractors, cement product manufacturers and building material distributors who preferred to stay anonymous, told EdgeProp.my that they have received a price increase circular from one of the local cement companies.
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