Mauritius | Manufacturing & Services

January 24, 2013

Cement: ACIM Renews its Call for Price Controls

The Consumers' Association of Mauritius (ACIM), by the voice of his secretary-general, Jayen Chellum again claimed control cement prices, following the announcement of an imminent price increase by importers.

He regretted that, 18 months after the liberalization of the import and sale of the product, the competition is not in favor of consumers. According to available information, the price of cement cover could be of the order of Rs 230 in the coming days.

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Commerce, who also holds the portfolio of Consumer Protection, ACIM request that the liberalization of prices of cement being questioned and demanded the restoration of price controls. The association said that in his study of the cement market in July 2011, the Competition Commission of Mauritius (CCM) had recommended that, pending the entry of new competitors, it was necessary to maintain price controls.

However, the government, says he ignored this recommendation to liberalize the import and sale of cement. It was then that issue two other operators enter the market in the following months. However, Binani Cement seems to have packed up in the meantime.

It should also be noted that the cement market is characterized by a vertical merger, producers of ready-to-use holding significant shares in each of the importing companies. This concentration was vertical, according to observers, greatly influenced the market, especially on the grade of cement sold. Liberalization, especially the entry of two new operators on the market, should, had they wished at the time, to change this situation.

It should also be noted that following its second survey of the cement market in July, CCM indicated that this market would be under constant surveillance. The new report noted that the CCM entry barriers still existed for new operators. She believed that one-year period is too short to assess the impact of liberalization in July 2011, on the market.

It should be noted that the CCM had started a new study on the cement market at the request of the Consumers' Association of Mauritius to the regulator to initiate action can force the government to reconsider the liberalization the price of cement.

According to Dr. Sean F. Ennis, Executive Director of CCM, "well-functioning and competitive markets are significant in economic growth and keeping Achieving Low Costs." A cement market is competitive, he says, crucial to economic growth.

Rant - Profit or excessive abuse?

The prices of some products is highly demanded he going to be revised upwards? This is the question posed by many consumers for the sale of certain products at inflated prices in a sales area of food at Bagatelle Shopping Mall. Indeed, this point of sale food lovers (sic), the posted price for Kraft cheese is greater than the recommended price. Kraft is currently for sale at Rs 73.00 Box of 250 g.

At Bagatelle, is priced at Rs 79.95. The bag of a kilo of sugar Top, normally sold at Rs 68 to Rs 74.95 is offered. Ditto for Weetabix cereal, selling price Rs 114.95, against Rs 99.90, and frozen peas Watties, Rs 79.95 against Rs 66.95 elsewhere. Is it a strategy to announce importers respective indirectly that the price will rise continually revised, as is often the case with prices crossed that does not match the actual selling price?

Unlikely, given the stability of prices of these products for some time. The sale of these products at prices unreasonably expensive can it be punished under the 'Consumer Protection Act'? Would it be a clear case of 'profiteering'? Although there is a provision for the establishment of Profiteering Court, the concept of profiteering does not seem well defined by law. Some have understood.

 

 

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