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|Gov’t monitoring inflated cement prices|
|Wednesday, 02 May 2012 21:34|
THE issues surrounding the price, demand and supply of cement in Guyana has much to do with the “unscrupulous behaviour” of some distributors who are said to be stockpiling the commodity for their own dishonest gains.
The price for cement has been climbing recently; and according to Acting Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Irfaan Ali, distributors are charging between $1,800 and $2,300.
Some of them, he noted, are exploiting the situation in view of the ‘construction boom’ that Guyana is currently experiencing. In fact, since last January, there was tremendous expansion in the construction sector, and hence one of the primary commodities fetching higher prices is cement.
Ali, also Minister of Housing and Water, spoke to the press yesterday at this ministry on Brickdam, in Georgetown, following the spate of complaints to his office on the cement issue.
Present at the meeting were representatives of suppliers and distributors of cement who concurred that the price for the commodity must come down. They agreed to the regular price for it, $1,395 plus VAT, provided that they have an adequate supply.
The representative for Toolsie Persaud Limited highlighted that in as much as they are major distributors and are selling to other dealers across the country, should the dealers later decide to increase their prices, the company would have no control over it.
Meanwhile, the minister said that whatever is decided has the backing of the Competition and Fair Trading Act of 2006, which clearly outlines what constitutes an offence.
“We see a number of distributors retailing cement at increased prices and some of them at extremely inflated prices. That necessitated an urgent meeting in which it was outlined that no enterprise can conspire, combine, agree, or arrange with another person to limit unduly the facilities for transporting, producing, manufacturing, storing or dealing in any goods or supplying any services…to enhance unreasonably the price thereof…
“So if persons are buying up large amounts of cement and holding it, that’s clearly an offence. We have had the commitment of suppliers that they are able and ready to increase their supply into Guyana. So there is no excuse in terms of the supply,” Ali said.
He mentioned, too, that authorities will be monitoring the prices; and if the condition persists, they will have to intervene to ensure stability on the market.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 21:35|
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