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State may review law to allow scrap metal importation

State may review law to allow scrap metal importation

THE government plans to review laws and regulations to allow importation of scrap metals as efforts to supply enough raw materials to local steel industries in the country.

Industry and Trade Minister, Prof Kitila Mkumbo said his docket was organizing a joint meeting with the ministry in charge of Union affairs and environment to conduct the review smoothly.

He said the government has banned import and exports of copper scraps and copper ingots, which are raw materials for manufacturing of round bars, in order to protect the environment.

However, he said, they wanted to review the rules and regulations that run the sector so that they put in place alternatives that would allow imports, but with strict environmental protection measures.

Prof Mkumbo told reporters that the move follows a survey they conducted to establish reasons over the rising cost of building materials in the country and a way forward proper measures.

He said the survey was conducted in the regions of Mwanza, Dodoma, Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Pwani, Shinyanga and Ruvuma between September and November.

It revealed that there have been rise in prices of iron sheets, round bars and cement.

Prof Mkumbo said as for the round bars, the prices in Mwanza went up by six percent from September to November, 2021.

"The government is working on controlling rise in prices of the building materials," he insisted.

He said the gauge 28 iron sheet prices were high by 5.5 per cent in the regions of Mwanza and Dar es Salaam during the evaluation period.

He added that the evaluation report has it that the increase of prices of cement between September and November had no justification as it has no evidence on the high production cost, thus arguing that the hikes were unjustifiable.

As for round bars and iron sheets, Prof Mkumbo said the increase was due to high cost of imported raw materials where local production could not meet the market demands.

He said the government has come up with short, medium and long term strategies to increase production, including ensuring that raw materials for local manufacturing industries are adequately available.

The Minister said his docket will be issuing cap prices of the building materials from time to time to relieve consumers from digging deeper into their pockets, urging the public to report traders who would sell such commodities at high prices so that relevant authorities could take action against them. 

He further directed the Fair Competition Commission (FCC) to do close monitoring on the product prices and take the needed measures to business operators who infringe the regulations.

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Author: NELLY MTEMA

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