The Ghana Cement Manufacturers Association (GCMA) has commended the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for instituting a freight on board (FOB) charge of US$60 per tonne on imported cement.
Cement importers used to pay US$26 per tonne, a rate which the GCMA said allowed cement importers to sell their cement at a cheaper price, to the detriment of local manufacturers of the product.
In a comment on the new FOB charge, the Chairman of the GCMA, Rev. Dr George Dawson-Ahmoah, who is also the Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director of Ghacem
Limited, said the association was grateful that the GRA had thoroughly investigated its concerns over the under-declaration of costs by bagged cement importers.
“We commend the GRA for playing a vital role in this adjustment and urge its sustenance in order to maximise revenue, as well as protect the local cement industry,” he said.
Rev. Dr Dawson-Ahmoah, who is also the Chairman of the Tema Branch of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), stated that the GCMA still maintained that the continued importation of bagged cement into the country was not necessary, stressing that with a current surplus capacity of over two million tonnes per annum, local manufacturing companies had the installed capacity to meet the local demand for cement.
He expressed concern that the country was gradually becoming an import centre.
“It is, therefore, imperative that policy makers heed the proposals by stakeholders, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry and AGI, regarding safeguard policies to protect the local industry to be able to perform its function as the engine of growth.” he said.
The GCMA had, since 2015, petitioned the Ministry of Trade and Industry and other agencies regarding what it described as unfair trade practices in the cement industry, particularly bagged cement imports from China.
Members of the association include Ghacem, Diamond Cement in Aflao, Savanna Diamond Cement in the north and Western Diamond Cement in Takoradi.
Source: Daily Graphic
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