No ban for cement imports: Malawi govt justifies licences

Malawi government has justified its decision  to give licences  on the importation of cement –  a critical ingredient in the construction industry – saying there is no ban for the  importation of the product.

Cement imports licences triggers business war
Cement imports licences triggers business war
Cement is a central factor in building and construction
Cement is a central factor in building and construction

Ministry of Industry and Trade spokesperson, Wiskes Mkombezi   said government issues the cement importation licences in order to protect the consumers from  exploitation of exorbitant prices on the monopolising local industry.

He said the licences were issued in order to “ regulate and bring sanity to the cement  trade” and also curb smuggling of the product.

The legally imported cement is said to be  bringing competition and stabilising the prices of cement in the country exciting  property investors.

He said with import cement, there is no shortage of supply even in under-saved areas.

The ministry is encouraging other investors to import cement and pay import duty  in order to promote competition in the industry and ensure that prices of cement are affordable to many poor Malawians.

However, the ministry warned against smuggled cement , saying all imports should be cleared by the ministry to avoid  bringing into the country products that may be “ injurious to the public health, public morals and others.”

The local cement manufactures have cried foul over the import licences.

Aslam Gaffar the managing director  of Cement Products Limited and Lafarge cement director Iise  Borshoff claim cement imports are threatening jobs for local people.

The demand for cement in Malawi is rising due to the upsurge in activities in the construction industry.

The country introduced licenses for cement importers in early 2000 as a way of controlling the influx of imported cement on the local market and to provide breathing space for the infant local industry to survive and grow.

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Vindere Msataye
Vindere Msataye
6 years ago

Much as appreciate that cement has always to be available on market, the decision is retrogressive.
Minister of finance and Financial Economists have always said that imports of things that are locally available is unnecessary and they drain out our scarce forex. Now Ministry of Trade in the same government thinks to contrary. This is really a babel Government/cabinet.

6 years ago

Galfer, till when you want to steal from Malawians. You behave like a mosambuquan, always increase you cement. Udziwanso

Big up gov
Big up gov
6 years ago

They may threaten jobs on cement manufacturers but at the same time creating even more jobs in the construction industries as there will be more construction happening with affordable cement.

It can be a situation of one job lost against five jobs created.

Thank you Ministry of trade for breaking price fixing by these manufacturers. We have been taken for a ride for quite too long in silence.

Cost of construction is artificially created

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