Govt urged to look into soaring rod prices
Friday, 01 February 2008

Staff Correspondent

Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh on Wednesday demanded that the government should immediately look into the abnormal increase in MS rod prices in recent times.

REHAB leaders at a news briefing also said they would have no alternative but to raise the apartment prices soon due to sharp increase in prices of building materials particularly this month.

Engineer Tanveerul Haque Probal, general secretary of REHAB, read out a statement at the briefing held at National Press Club.

He said price of per tonne MS rod (60 grade) increased from Tk 47,500 last month to Tk 63,000 this month.

The price of rod went up by Tk 16,000 per tonne in last five weeks, he added. The prices of brick, sand and cement had also risen during the period between 2005 and 2008.

The price of brick increased from Tk 5,000 per thousand in 2007 to Tk 6,000 this year while that of cement from Tk 335 per bag last year to Tk 370 in 2008, Probal said.

The prices of MS rod, cement and brick have increased by 33 per cent, 10 per cent and 20 per cent respectively this year compared to the previous year, REHAB leader said. Besides, the prices of electric cable has increased by 100 per cent rate while GI materials by 48 per cent, paints by 32 per cent and shutter materials by 28 per cent.

‘We have never seen such a price fluctuation in the world market.’ Under these circumstances, around 25 lakh labourers will directly or indirectly be affected, putting an adverse impact on housing sector and its backward linkage industries, he said.

REHAB president Mukarram Husain Khan said the government should form a commission to investigate the reasons behind the increase in rod price as its price might rise further when the construction works would go on in a full swing.

‘We are ready to import rod, if the government lift duty on it for a particular period.’ The general secretary of the association has informed that the country needs 40 lakh tonnes of rod for construction works every year, of which REHAB’s consumption is 15 per cent.

Syed Sirajul Haque, treasurer, and Enamul Haque, chairman of building material price review standing committee of REHAB, were also present at the conference.

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