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Monday, May 12, 2008

Builders laud move to abolish steel ceiling price

The Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) on Saturday lauded the abolishment of the ceiling price for steel, citing it as another proof of improvement in the delivery system.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last Friday announced that the ceiling price on steel will be abolished effective today.

In a statement, MBAM said it had long been vocal in urging the government to abolish price control and to allow market forces to decide on prices of steel.

"The association strongly supports and welcome the government's decision to abolish the ceiling price of steel. May 12 will be an important milestone for the construction industry as currently contractors have been facing t difficulties in obtaining steel bars at the ceiling price," said MBAM president Patrick Wong.

However, the association hopes that the government will reconsider its position on cement pricing which is said to be moving towards an automated pricing mechanism (APM) as mentioned by International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin.

According to Wong, the association had mentioned previously that APM means guaranteed profit margins and zero risk for cement manufacturers.

He said MBAM will continue to champion fair trade practices and the association hopes that the cement market will be liberalised as well.

By Bernama

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