By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Industry and Trade yesterday to set price caps for cement in a deliberate move to curb what he termed to be haphazard price increases by unscrupulous traders in the market.

This comes at a time when cement prices have unexpectedly risen in the country, with a 50 kilogram-bag retailing at prices that range between Sh15,000 and Sh28,000 depending on location and closeness to manufacturing facilities.

Mr Majaliwa also warned traders who harbor profiteering motives through the hoarding of cement, saying doing so amounted to economic sabotage and they would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

“We need to put in place a price cap mechanism for cement. We need to know the availability of cement in each and every region. For instance, why would cement that manufactured in Dar es Salaam and Tanga cost Sh28,000 in Morogoro? How much would the same cost if sold in Kigoma?” he enquired.

Mr Majaliwa was speaking via a televised address – from his Mlimwa office in Dodoma to – Regional Commissioners, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, regional trade officers and executives from various cement manufacturing firms.

He said Tanzania did not need to form a cement board because the country had several bodies that were working to regulate the business.

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Besides, there was also a complete ministry for trade which he said, had every reason of working hard to ensure that Tanzanians were able to access the product at affordable prices.

Mr Majaliwa called upon the Fair Competition Commission (FCC) to conduct thorough investigations into the cement sub-sector with a view to establishing whether the product was being sold at fair prices or not in several locations.

He also ordered the Ministry of Industry and Trade to undertake visits to cement manufacturers with a view to understanding their concerns so they can come up with solutions.

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