The Ministry of Trade and Industry has assured that it would assess the impact of the ban on importation of cement in the coming months to ascertain the actual capacity of cement manufacturing companies in the country.
Parliament recently passed a Legislative Instrument, placing a ban on importation of Portland cement into the country to protect local producers.
But speaking at the inauguration of the Portland Cement Monitoring Committee, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah explained that the committee will also examine the capacity of local producers to meet demand since the Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA) is considering imposing tariffs on the importation to generate revenue for the country.
“Some companies are interested in importing cement into the country and they also argue that if local cement manufacturers have such excess capacity then there will be no need for import at all,” he said. He was of the view that the situation requires tact since importers are also demanding for some quota in the market to meet the demand and beat down price.
“I want to say that there is an Appeal’s Committee that will also consider the views of those who want to import. The Ghana Revenue Authority is also examining it,” he said.
According to him, the GRA is considering the imposition of a tariff on the importation of the product to raise revenue for the country.
“There is an issue of pricing as well, and the GRA has also being examining this and trying to examine this to see whether imported cement should be allowed to come in at 35, 40, 50 or 60 dollars a tonne and what kind of tariff should be imposed,” he said.
He maintained that it is imperative to determine the actual capacities of the local producers to supplement it with importation if there is a deficit.
He however maintained that government’s aim of passing the LI is to protect the local manufacturers to prevent a collapse of the cement industry.
“We are all aware of what happened in the textile industry due to influx of cheap textiles. We do not want a repeat of that in the cement industry,” he stressed.
Dr. Spio Grabrah charged the committee to work hard to ascertain the true capacity of the local manufacturers and the volume of imported cement into the country.