The Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) has appealed to the government to double duty on imported cheap cement to rescue local industries affected by the influx.
The Director of Policy and Advocacy, Hussein Kamote told journalists during a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the Confederation has no problem with imported cement, explaining: “The only thing we are pushing for is for the government to create a level playing field against subsidised cement products from Asian countries.”
He said that CTI had already contacted the government concerning the issue, and it had promised to conduct its own research and give a statement.
He said local cement producers wanted import duty doubled to discourage foreign dealers from selling their cement at cheap prices.
He said that East African Community (EAC) finance ministers reduced Common External Tariff (CET) on cement from 40 to 25 per cent.
Kamote said the market in Tanzania was flooded with imported cement from Pakistan and other Asian countries which are cheaper compared to the locally manufactured one.
He said a survey had established that imported cement is sold at between 10,000/- and 11,000/- per 50-kilo bag while locally produced cement is sold at between 12,000/- and 18,000/- per bag.
He said countries like Pakistan provide subsidy for cement producers while Tanzanian producers strive on their own.
Kamote said that all the East African Community (EAC) member states face the same problem. He said some of the local industries have failed to increase production due to low sales.
Available statistics show that Mbeya Cement Company produces more than 300,000 tonnes of cement annually, Tanga cement more than 800,000 tonnes and Twiga more than 1.4 million tonnes.
Total demand for cement in the country stood roughly at 1.6 million tonnes per year. Local production stands at about 1.7 million tonnes.