The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) canceled the licenses of 18 cement distributors it accuses of overpricing beyond the tariff it set out in a directive.
The Ministry stated in a statement that it has assumed a supervisory role to ensure fair distribution of cement while it helps stabilize the market by controlling shortage of the product.
Hence, read the statement, the Ministry revoked the licenses of distributors who were found to be selling the products at a higher price, violating the directive.
However, the Ministry did not specify the businesses and whether all of them are from Addis Ababa or from other parts of the country as well.
The Ministry further indicated that some cement factories are also taking action against some distributers that violate the directive and distort the market price by themselves.
Over the past three months alone, pointed out the Ministry, some distributers have been penalized for violating the rule. Nevertheless, it affirmed its commitment to continue its effort to fight against any business activity that violates the law.
According to Melaku Alebel, Minister of Industry and Trade, the price of cement has been stabilizing over the past few months as a result of the regulatory measures taken by the Ministry.
The Minister remarked last month that hoarding by some individuals and inability of major cement manufacturers to produce at full capacity were the reasons behind the inflated price.
The directive which became operational on the beginning of September stipulates how distributers receive cement from factories, how retailers receive products from distributors and how mega projects get cement.
As of this week, The Reporter understands that one quintal of cement (2 sacks) is sold for a price ranging between 490 to 520 birr.