The Association of Ghana Industries has lauded this initiative by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to curtail importation of  cement into the country, describing it as a bold one that will properly regulate the cement sector.

“ Cement is an essential commodity in the real estate sector, and leaving in the hands offoreigners will not be the right thing to do. Especially when local companies have enough capacity to produce cement locally”, President of Association of Ghana Industries, James Asare- Agyei said.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry in March proposed, through a legislative instrument, to impose a ceiling on the annual importation of cement into Ghana.

Companies that wish to import bagged cement shall be issued a permit to avoid the chaos that has lately saddled the sector.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, who conveyed the decision to restrict imports in a statement, also instructed all cement importers in the country to apply for permits.

However, companies legitimately licensed under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme were exempted from applying for permits.

That, the AGI said, was a welcome development that would ensure that the right Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) could be determined to avoid the cement war that had affected GHACEM and other cement manufacturers, on one hand, and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), on the other, over the accurate values of the imports.