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‘Let demand and supply dictate’ – Chamber of Commerce president opposes control of cement prices

The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry president says that government efforts to legislate the price of cement are not the way to go if the country is to develop.

“Demand and supply must equate for us to have a price in any liberalized economy, so when we talk about price control, it has a rippling effect,” Dr. Clement Osei Amoako said on PM Express Business Edition on Friday.

He continued, “The individual goes to borrow money at a very high rate, and then employ people to work with. Allow them to fix their price because we are in a competitive market where others operate. There is no monopoly when you look at the number of cement manufacturers.”

“There are about five or six companies, and each of them wants to maximize profits or make sure that their price is quite reasonable for them to have the demand.

“That is why they produce quality goods to compete, so you allow them to determine the price,” he stated.

He said when the economy is good and everything is going well, there is no need for government intervention.

“If you do that, they may even fold up due to the inability to meet operational costs. Where can we get cement to buy then? Are we going to import with our forex?” he quizzed.

Dr. Osei Amoako concluded, “It must be left open for them to compete among themselves. I don’t believe in price control.”

In May 2024, the Minister for Trade and Industry, K.T. Hammond instructed the Cement Manufacturing Development Committee (CMDC) to direct cement manufacturing companies in Ghana to immediately reverse the hike in price increase.

However, the Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) rejected this directive citing production costs and the principles of a free market economy, stating that the directive is “without basis and justification” and has refused to comply.

On June 25, the Trade Minister presented to Parliament an L.I dubbed ‘The Ghana Standard Authority Pricing of Cement Regulations 2024‘ to gain legal backing. But he faced fierce opposition in Parliament.

The NDC MPs demanded that the legislative instrument (LI) go through pre-laying procedures before being formally laid on the floor.

SourceJoy Business

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