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Price Control: I support trade minister – Bismark Osei

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In an interview on the Daybreak Upper East show on A1 Radio on Monday, Bismark Osei, an economist and lecturer at the C. K. Tedam University for Technology and Applied Sciences (C.K.T-UTAS) has voiced his support for the government’s agenda.

Mr. Osei was however quick to emphasize the need for a more inclusive approach to address national challenges, particularly price control that has become a major issue for discussion.

“Maybe before cement prices go up, we have the trade minister, the cement producers, and importers sit down and look at the common grounds,” Mr. Osei said.

He emphasized that this is important because some people are taking advantage of these situations to increase prices at their preferred rates.

He added that prices of goods should not necessarily be increased every time the exchange rate goes up.

Rather, increments should depend on the magnitude of the cedi depreciation. To curb higher rates of increment by importers and marketers, Mr. Osei suggested that the trade ministry should always negotiate with producers and importers, discussing the margin and percentage of increment to be implemented.

This would enable equal prices of cement on the market, which will help everyone, including producers, importers, and consumers.

He urged that this agenda be supported to ensure that cement prices do not increase without producers and importers negotiating with the Ministry.

Awineyesema Abiire, Lecturer at the Finance and Accounts Department at the Bolgatanga  Technical University, addressing the price control issues surrounding the increment of cement prices, brought attention to pressing issues in Ghana, underscoring significant disparities between northern and southern regions.

“The price of a liter of fuel in the south is the same when you come to the North. But it is not the same when it comes to cement. That means the government has even forgotten about us.”

He criticized the government’s lack of deliberate policies aimed at fostering equitable pricing and economic development nationwide.

Echoing sentiments from stakeholders, he advocated for tax reductions within the cement industry as a crucial step towards lowering production costs and subsequently retail prices. The disparity in cement prices has become a focal point for national debate, raising concerns about economic fairness and regional development.

Experts and citizens alike are calling for comprehensive policy reforms that ensure fair competition and support local industries.

Mr. Awineyesema added that the government should support citizens rather than foreign interests when it comes to taxes.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Gifty Eyram Kudiabor|Bolgatanga

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