Government threatens to allow importation of cheap cement if prices don’t go down

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, Featured

The Ministry of Trade and Industries has given local manufacturers three weeks to be able to reduce prices for cement or government allows the importation of cheap cement into the country.

The prices for cement have in the past few weeks skyrocketed to at least shs 50000 creating a crisis and public outcry.

The Minister for Trade, Amelia Kyambadde on Tuesday met with the local manufacturers and warned them of the consequences if they don’t bring the prices down.

“We have given them an opportunity until May and if by this month the prices have not gone down, we may need to open up,”Kyambadde told manufacturers on Tuesday in Kampala.

She was however, quick to say that the prices may have gone up due to the Buy Uganda Build Uganda(BUBU) policy that the market is responding to adding that local manufacturers have to be protected.

“We advocated for Buy Uganda and Build Uganda and these big projects are compelled to buy from the local producers and there is much pressure on them and has impacted negatively on the supply on the domestic market.”

In the meeting, both parties agreed that government should regulate the export of cement to allow manufacturers ration their export and address the scarcity problem.

The cement manufacturers told the minister that hoarding of the cement by retailers could have worsened the price situation in the country.

The meeting also agreed that government puts a cap on wholesale and retail prices for cement as well as sorting out the power outage problems that are affecting production at Hima Cement.

The minister however assured them that a new cement plant is expected to be opened up to increase production and the manufacturers committed to double their supply in the next three weeks.

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