Government though the Ministry of Trade yesterday got Cement manufacturers in the country to commit to double their supply by mid next month, short of which, borders will be opened for cheaper cement from outside.
Minister of Trade Amelia Kyambadde yesterday met with the top three cement producers in the country, who she said will put into writing their commitment to double production.
This is all part of the efforts by government to control the wild increase in cement prices, which has been attributed to shortage, estimated now at about 600,000 tons.
“We have given them an opportunity until May. If by May the prices have not gone down…even May is very far. We also have to protect them because these are the few industries that we have,” Minister Kyambadde said during the meeting with manufacturers at her office.
If there is still scarcity by Mid May, the minister said, government will open up and allow importation of cement at a special duty rate.
At least two brand new cement plants are expected to be commissioned in the coming two months in Tororo and Kasese, which is hoped to increase the supply on the market by almost 2million tons a year.
In the meantime, the Minister announced commitment by government to remove the 10% import duty on clinker, the main cement ingredient.
She also promised to fast track clearance of clinker that belongs to Hima, which is being held by Uganda Revenue Authority at the border.
Her ministry she said, will soon come out to recommend the wholesale and retail prices of cement.