The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed more than Rs 6,700 crore penalty on 11 cement companies – UltraTech, Binani, Ramco, Jaiprakash Associates, JK Cement, Lafarge, India Cements, ACL, ACC, Century, Shree Cement, besides Cement Manufacturers’ Association (CMA) – for cartelisation.
The cartelisation penalty on cement companies are as follows: CMA – Rs 73 lakh; JK Cement – Rs 128.54 crore; Binani – Rs 167.32 crore; India Cements – Rs 187.48 crore; Ramco – Rs 258.63 crore; Century – Rs 274.02 crore; Shree Cement – Rs 397.51 crore; Lafarge – Rs 490.01 crore; ACC – Rs 1,147.59 crore; ACL – Rs 1,163.91 crore; UltraTech – Rs 1,175.49 crore; and Jaiprakash Associates – Rs 1,323.60 crore.
According to CCI, as per reports, the cement companies used the platform provided by the CMA and shared details relating to prices, capacity utilisation, production and dispatch, thereby restricting production and supplies in the market. Further, the CCI also found the cement companies to be acting in concert in fixing prices of cement. Through a separate order, the regulator has slapped Rs 397.51 crore fine on Shree Cement, for unfair businesses practices.
Penalising the companies, the CCI said that the actions of the companies and the CMA are not only detrimental to the interests of consumers, but also to the whole economy, as cement is a critical input in the construction and infrastructure industry, and vital to economic development.