The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE) has set D285 as the wholesale price and D305 as retail price of a bag of cement with immediate effect and warned importers, distributors and retailers against selling the commodity above the price.
The move followed MOTIE’s observation of the recent hike in the prices of cement and other certain commodities, according to its latest release.
“Following these observations, the Ministry has conducted a series of consultations with the relevant stakeholders, and it was confirmed that there is a disproportional increase between the wholesale and retail prices of cement. The factory price ranges from D265 to D285 whilst the retail price has ranged from D340 to D400 over the past few weeks,” MOTIE said in a dispatch.
The ministry continued that legal action will be taken against anyone who violates the declaration; while encouraging the public to report those selling cement above the mentioned prices.
“Any entity/person found selling cement at any price above the capped prices will be subject to the full penalty of the law as stipulated in the Consumer Protection Act 2014. The General Public is also encouraged to report any incidence of cement sales above the capped price to MOTIE or the Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission for immediate action,” the release added.
Consequently, the ministry has now classified cement as an essential commodity in line with the Essential Commodities Act 2015. As such, it said all importers, distributors and retailers of cement are required to obtain a license from MOTIE with immediate effect in line with the Act.
The ministry finally reminded dealers in cement that the act of hoarding is against the Hoarding (prohibition) Act, No.8 of 2009.
Until this declaration, the price of a bag of cement hit D400 in certain locations in the Greater Banjul Area, following a shortage of the commodity.