Cement firms may move tribunal against CCI order
New Delhi, PTI: Denying any involvement on price cartel, Ultratech Cement and India Cements on Thursday said it will challenge the CCI order imposing hefty penalty before tribunal while others such as ACC and Ambuja Cements are mulling to make a similar move.
On the other hand, Builders' Association of India, on whose complaint competition watchdog CCI had initiated probe against cement companies, hailed the decision saying it was long-pending.
"We have not indulged in any cartelisation. We will approach the Competition Appellate Tribunal and challenge the order," Ultratech's Whole-time Director O P Puranmalka said in a statement.
Sources in law firm Amarchand Mangaldas, representing Swiss major Holcim-controlled ACC and Ambuja Cements in the case, said," We are reviewing CCI decision. In all likelihood, we will move to the Tribunal".
N Vishwanathan, Secretary General, Cement Manufacturers' Association, said, "We will study the nature and the rationale of the order and then only, we can decide on the future course of action".
CCI imposed a whopping Rs 63.07 billion fine on 11 leading cement makers for forming price cartel. Industry body CMA was also fined with Rs 73 lakh.
Jaiprakash Associates, which faced maximum penalty of Rs 13.23 billion, did not offer any immediate comment saying," We are yet to go through the CCI report". Similar responses were given by some other firms.
India Cements said, "There was no basis to arrive at conclusions that our company has indulged in cartelisation and anti-competitive practices... without any proof we have been found guilty, against which we shall be taking legal recourse."
The Builders Association of India (BAI) was elated and said the decision was a long-pending one. Senior advocate O P Dua represented BAI in the case against the cement makers at CCI.
"We are happy with the order. It was long-pending. But, the fine could have been more," a BAI official said.
The apex realtors' body Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (Credai) hailed CCI decision and said the judgement justifies their apprehensions that cement and steel companies are engaged into cartelisation.