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Parliament to probe hikes in building materials



Joe Wise Parliament022123132131st Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu

The 1st Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Wusu has referred to the Finance Committee and the leadership of the Trade and Industry and Works and Housing Committees to investigate the recent increment in building materials.

The decision by the 1st Deputy Speaker came up at the plenary after the Member of Parliament for Obuasi West who double as Chairman of the Finance Committee and a former deputy minister for Finance Kwaku Kwarteng made a statement on the floor of Parliament.

The MP drew the attention of parliament to what he described as “usual price developments in our markets in respect to building materials; namely, iron rods, cement, sand, aggregates, and other construction materials”.

The MP said in recent times, there have been usual price hikes of these items on the market, which has understandably provoked complaints from industry operators and consumers in his constituency and the entire construction industry in Ghana.

The situation he lamented has triggered further hikes in building-related services such as excavation, drilling, tiling, among others.

Water supply and labour to construction sites he added have all become more expensive.

According to him, it was hard in figuring out the source of the hikes adding, parliament has not passed any law on a tax that could have attributed to the hikes.

To him, it was a strange development that must be addressed.

On his part, the Minority’s spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson argued that his colleague MP could have used his powers as Chairman of the Finance Committee to look into the matter.

He said the country is practicing a free market economy where prices of goods and services are normally determined by market forces depending on demand and supply.

The 1st Deputy Speaker after the debate asked the committees mentioned to look into the issue and report to the House in four weeks.



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