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22.01.2005 General News

GPRTU decries cement price increase by GHACEM

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Techiman (B/A), Jan. 22, GNA - Mr Johnson Badu Antwi, Chairman of Techiman Taxi Branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has called on the Ministry of Works and Housing to investigate the rationale behind the recent increase in cement by the Ghana Cement Company (GHACEM).

He said for cement price to have been raised from 52,000 cedis to 57,000 cedis was too exorbitant and called for its reversion. Mr Antwi made the appeal, while addressing a section of drivers about the recent issuing of new registration licences for drivers in the country.

He deplored the arbitrary increase in the prices of the cement as sabotage by the out-going Managing Director of GHACEM, Mr Bjarne Schmidt, since the Government had not increased the prices of petroleum products and lorry fares which, could have affected the increase in the price of cement.

He said the effective date of January 19 for the increase of the factory price of cement from 42,665 Cedis to 47,678 Cedis would serve as a yardstick for cement sellers to subject their customers in the rural areas to much suffering, which would jeopardize the credibility of the government just after general elections.

Mr Antwi said for GHACEM to have allegedly taken decision without the consultation of the Sector Ministry to meet the world price of cement was in-appropriate and therefore, demanded a reduction of the factory price of cement in other that rural flocks could not be affected in the increase of rent.

In another development, Mr Antwi has appealed to the Ministry of Transport and Communication to provide drivers in the Techiman Municipality with proper licences to enable them discharge their duties effectively.

According to him, majority of the drivers who were able to have their licences renewed were only issued with a note temporary note indicating that one is qualify to operate.

The situation where it is alleged that there is only one machine in the country for providing genuine licences to drivers is not enough and therefore, called for more to enable the drivers obtain their licences to avert the continuous harassment by the police on the motor way.

Mr Badu Antwi advised drivers to register with the Mutual Health Insurance Scheme to become part of the scheme for better medical care at hospital when they fall sick.

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