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Reversing 50% benchmark values for cement won’t work, consumers will rather suffer — Chamber of Cement Manufacturers

The Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers Ghana (COCMAG), Rev. George Dawson Amoah has said removing the benchmark values is

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The Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers Ghana (COCMAG), Rev. George Dawson Amoah has said removing the benchmark values is a “headache” to cement manufacturers in Ghana.

He noted that the prices of cement bag has been soaring after Covid-19.

Rev Amoah indicated that removing the benchmark values for certain products including clinker has put them in deep pensive mood.

According to him, due to the increased freight charges and the high cost of importing raw materials, clinker takes about 75 to 80 percent of their needed raw materials.

“Benchmark in this country cushioned us a bit, so hearing the announcement, with this consequences of covid, which we have not much control over, some of the things that helped us after huge freight charges and Covid consequences was the discount we had on the benchmark values.
“This announcement is a big headache. We don’t remember government discussing with us the intended taking off of the benchmark values,” he stated in a conversation with Omanhene Adu Boakye of Kesben television on Monday.
Rev. Amoah noted that the Chamber rather suggested to government to reduce the benchmark values for competing imported products like biscuits, ceramic tiles, iron rods among others which are all produced in Ghana to discourage its importation.

This, in addition to giving such local manufacturers a discount on their raw materials, he intimated, would boost local production.

“So that they can increase employment and increase revenue to the economy. But placing full benchmark on the imported raw materials won’t be helpful,” Rev Amoah insisted.

He stressed that, “So as for cement, I say with authority that, it won’t help, it is the consumers who will suffer.

“The investor or operator of the factory will not operate to lose. So it’s worrisome, and it’s a big concern.”

Ghana’s government announced over the weekend, the removal of 50 percent benchmark values on 32 categories of items at the ports effective Monday, November 15, 2021.

The decision, according to the Ghana Revenue Authority was informed by an agreement reached with the business community to, as it where, generate more revenue.

But, interestingly, the business community has not been too happy about the announcement.

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