Industry Minister Karl Samuda says the Government has approved an 80 per cent reduction in the cess paid by cement importers to inspect their product.
According to Mr. Samuda a recent survey carried out by the Consumer Affairs Commission concluded that cement supplies had diminished.
He said the removal of the cess is aimed at filling the current demand of about 95,000 tons.
Mr. Samuda is also expressing confidence that both measures will prevent the country from facing any future shortfall in cement demand.
Industry Minister Karl Samuda addressing the Jamaica Labour Party’s first official post-Cabinet press briefing.
In the meantime, Mr. Samuda says he is angry over the sudden near ten per cent hike in the price of cement.
Mr. Samuda says it seems coincidental that when the country is facing a cement shortage there is a price increase.
The Commerce Minister is livid despite what he says were the multiple factors behind the increase including transport and energy costs and the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar.
And the Government is sourcing other overseas markets for the product.
Mr. Samuda says Cuban authorities have been approached to discuss the possibilities of importing the much needed product to augment existing local supplies.
Mr. Samuda says Cuba does not export the product however as an expression of goodwill and friendship they have extended themselves to assist Jamaica.
Mr. Samuda says a Jamaican delegation including Ministry technocrats and stakeholders will leave the island on Thursday to finalise the arrangements for the supply of approximately 40 tons of cement.
The Industry Minister says Government is being careful to ensure there is no glut on the market.