Cement prices across the country have remained high despite government’s pledge to reduce them.
About two weeks ago, Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde met cement manufacturers and gave them three weeks to increase production and supply which would ultimately lower the price of cement.
Ms Kyambadde also said government would allow importation of cement from other countries if the local manufacturers did not lower the prices.
But a mini-survey around Kampala and the surrounding areas shows that the prices have reduced slightly, with a bag being sold between Shs33,000 and Shs36,000.
Originally, a bag was sold at between Shs28,000 and Shs30,000.
Some of the retailers said the supply is still low and cement is rationed to both whole and retail traders, right from the factory.
“If you make orders of 1,000 bags, you will end up being given 500bags, the supply still remains low,” said an owners of a retail shop in Ntinda, Kampala, who declined to be named.
On Thursday, MPs expressed concern over the high prices, with Kamuli Municipality Member of Parliament Rehema Watangola wondering why they remain high yet lime used to make cement and the factories that process it are in Uganda.
In response, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said the government is engaging manufacturers of to stabilize the prices.
“There has been a general rise of cement prices, which has indeed brought some shocks in the construction industry. The minister of Trade and Industry is engaging the manufacturers of cement to ensure there is adequate response to meet the demand and stabilise the prices,” Mr Rugunda said.
During the April 10 meeting with manufacturers , Ms Kyambadde said government is to immediately regulate the export of cement, allowing manufacturers to ration their exports to address the scarcity problem.
Tororo and Hima Cement factories, who are the biggest cement producers in the country, also blamed declined production on reduced electricity supply.
In response, the Ministry of Trade promised to work with the Ministry of Energy to sort out the problem of power outages that are affecting production at Hima cement.
The minister also pledged to fast-track the removal of 10% import duty on clinker and the clearance of clinker that belongs to Hima which is held at the border by URA.
Producers had told the minister that the 10% levy on imported Clinker, a key ingredient in cement production in a bid to promote local production of the ingredient, has affected production