Malawi: Govt Warns Against Overcharging on Cement Prices

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The Malawi Government, through the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Competition and Fair Trading Commission, have warned traders against taking advantage of the scarcity of cement to overcharge the product.

In a joint statement released on Monday evening, the ministry and the Commission say they have noted with concern that, for the past few weeks, some traders have excessively raised the price of various types of cement (both Imported and domestically produced).

The ministry and the Commission state that the said exploitative conduct is in contravention of the Competition and Fair-Trading Act.

“As such, the ministry and its relevant agencies will not hesitate to take necessary action to deal with traders found engaging in such malpractice,” reads the statement in part, further urging local manufacturers to come up with sustainable solution to the problem.

According to the statement, the manufacturers have cited limited access to forex, which has affected the importation of raw materials for the production of cement such as gypsum, clinker and coal, as the main cause of the problem.

“The ministry has, in this regard, been engaging the Reserve Bank of Malawi to prioritize supply of forex to the cement manufacturers to address the problem. The ministry wishes to indicate that currently the ex-factory prices of different brands and strengths of cement should not go beyond K16, 000. The ministry, therefore, calls on members of the public with information relating to those charging excessive prices for cement, to immediately report to the ministry or the Competition and Fair-Trading Commission,” implore the government and the Commission.

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