ICU-Ghana petitions Trade and Industry Ministry over cement industry

ghacem-cementThe Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) Ghana has called on Dr Ekwow Spio Garbrah, the Trade and Industry Minister to take immediate actions to salvage the local cement industry.

Mr Solomon Kotei, the General Secretary of the Union, said at a press conference organised in Accra, that the government was pushing the local producers of the commodity into unfair competition and treatment.

Mr Kotei said these were manifested in the form of “under declaration of CIF values, lower tariffs, export subsidies, dumping, under declaration of volumes imported, and abuses at bonded warehousing”.

He said: “The local cement manufacturers who are over-burdened with high corporate taxes and import duties on their raw materials are being unfairly competed with these foreign importers.

“The unfair trade practices enables the foreign cement importers to flood the local cement market with lowly-priced cement of questionable quality, to the detriment of the nation,” Mr Kotei noted.

He called on the government to immediately “as per Legislative Instrument 2240, put a regulation on quotas and sign and clear the license approval process with the Cement Monitoring Committee.”

Mr Kotei said the Minister of Trade should “review any inimical trade protocols, agreements with foreign cement producers/importers that have been found to undermine cement produced locally”.

He called on the Minister “to check and put a stop to unfair trade practices by foreign cement producers/importers which, caused unfair competition in the cement industry in Ghana”.

The Union, a social partner of Cement Manufacturers of Ghana is also calling on the sector Minister to urgently liaise with the President for the inauguration of the five- member commission to enforce and implement the Ghana International Trade Commission, Act 926 of 2016 which was recently passed in Parliament. 

Mr Kotei is demanding that the commission is inaugurated and sworn into office immediately to “enable it deal with issues of unfair trade practices and competition so as to establish a level playground for all the players in the cement industry in Ghana.”

He called on the Ministry to “put a hold on bagged imported cement to allow investigation into the unfair trade practices”.

Source: GNA

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