Cement producers to bear testing costs at NABL-approved labs

01 Apr 2022

Cement manufacturers will have to contain the cost of testing at the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) approved labs to ensure supplying quality cement for government works.

The Civil Supplies Corporation has introduced this system. The cement is supplied at subsidised rates to the state governments by Ambuja Cements Limited, Ultratech Cement, ACC Cement and Duraton.

Supplying substandard cement affects the quality of work and also reduces the lifespan of a building. Because it is supplied at a subsidised rate to the governments, the product quality cannot be ruled out.

Lalit Jain, Corporation Managing Director, told the media that to ensure good quality cement is supplied by manufacturers for various government works, the companies would have to bear the testing costs only through NABL-approved labs. Each test costs Rs 20,000, which now will be paid by the manufacturer.

Earlier, the testing fee was borne by the corporation, and the higher cost acted as a deterrent to adequate testing.

The quality testing will be undertaken on the receipt of complaints as cases of substandard cement also pour in. The corporation has 117 godowns, and complaints of substandard cement come from the Sirmaur district.

Cement is supplied at a subsidised rate of Rs 195 per bag by the manufacturer to the corporation. The cost is then enhanced to Rs 310 to Rs 330 after adding labour charges, goods and services tax (GST) and the profit margin of the corporation. The freight charges are also added to the final cost through various truck unions transporting cement at lower prices.

Cement manufacturers said that complaints of the substandard cement supply are sometimes fake to allow the entry of other players, and their product had the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification.

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Also read: Cement prices shows an uptick in March as demand grows

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