New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) India’s anti-trust body, the Competition Commission of India, has imposed fines of Rs 6,700 crore on 11 cement companies for cartelisation, while also faulting their industry body for facilitating such a malpractice.
The maximum penalty of Rs 1,323.60 crore has been imposed on Jaiprakash Associates, while the least is on JK Cements of Rs 128.54 crore.
The Commission said the companies and Cement Manufacturers’ Association went against the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002, and shared details relating to prices, capacity utilisation, production and dispatch — thereby restricting the output and supplies in the market.
“Further, the Competition Commission of India also found the cement companies to be acting in concert in fixing prices of cement in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(1), read with Section 3(3)(a), of the Act,” a statement by the authority said.
“The cement companies and Cement Manufacturers’ Association have been directed to cease and desist from indulging in any activity relating to agreement, understanding or arrangement on prices, production and supply of cement in the market.”
The Commission said the companies used their trade body to have interactions that transgressed the limits of sharing information, extending it to discussions on cost, prices, production and capacities. This, it said, stifled competition.
The Commission also cautioned that those who participate in association activities, through meetings or otherwise, whether as members or executives, have to be sensitive to their discussions not transgressing advertently or otherwise into anti-trust behaviour or practices.
The penalties and the companies are as follows:
– Rs 1,147.59 crore (ACC)
– Rs 1,163.91 crore (ACL)
– Rs 167.32 crore (Binani)
– Rs 274.02 crore (Century)
– Rs 187.48 crore (India Cements)
– Rs 128.54 crore (JK Cements)
– Rs 490.01 crore (Lafarge)
– Rs 258.63 crore (Ramco)
– Rs 1,175.49 crore (UltraTech)
– Rs 1,323.60 crore (Jaiprakash Associates Limited)
– Rs 397.51 crore (Shree Cement)