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AIZAWL, July 12, 2018: Dealers of cement and iron rod on Wednesday observed a daylong strike across the state to protest a hike in cement prices by three companies – Dalmia, Star and Topcem.
The daylong strike, called by the All Mizoram Cement and Iron Rod Dealers' Association (AMCIRDA), was strictly observed in all parts of the state, said the association's secretary, Henry Lalbiakzinga.
He said nearly 130 cement and iron rod shops here and several others across the state had their shutters down to observe the strike.
Lalbiakzinga said the leaders of the association held talks with officials of Dalmia company on Wednesday, but could not reach any agreement. He added that they will approach the Mizo Students' Union (MSU), the second-largest student body in the state, to intervene in the issue.
The leader said the three cement companies have recently hiked the prices of cement in Mizoram from Rs 470 to Rs 490 per bag, which has greatly affected consumers.
He added that they have appealed to the three companies to reduce and re-instate the existing price, but to no avail.
More than eight cement companies are currently operating in Mizoram.
Lalbiakzinga said they had strongly opposed the price hike as it might induce other companies to raise the price of their products.
He said they had also appealed to the state government to intervene in the matter.
According to the association's president Sangdingliana, while one cement bag is available for Rs 401 (for Dalmia) in Silchar in neighbouring Assam, it is sold for Rs 490 in Aizawl and in some other places. The price sometimes crosses Rs 600.
He said though they have tried to oppose the three companies by closing down their godowns, they continue to sell their products through their consignment and forwarding (C&F) agents.
He added that cement prices are likely to increase during the winter season if it is hiked in the rainy or off season.
The association also appealed to all public consumers not to purchase cement at exorbitant prices.
Source: The Telegraph