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Business News of Thursday, 17 November 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

Diamond Cement lays off staff over unfair competition

Diamond Cement has served notice it will lay off fifty percent of its staff due to the inability of the company to sustain its operations.

According to the company, it is utilizing only 43% of its production capacity despite the 1000 direct and indirect staff strength.

“Just last month, I was compelled to sack 10 people from the marketing department in Tema because I couldn’t sustain the company’s operations. Since I am running at a loss, I cannot continue to keep the marketing staff in the company. Whatever decision that we decided to take has been and that is exactly what we will be doing,” General Manager for Diamond Cement, Tati Ramarao threatened.

He added, “Actually we are so sorry with the decision to sack people home but we have no other option.”

Mr. Ramarao also chastised the Trade Ministry and government for what he described as their lack of commitment to solve the issue of unfair competition in the manufacturing space.

“We are suffering a lot even though we have written several letters to the Ministry of Trade. There have been promises but we have seen nothing from the state. There is neither implementation nor action at all; the situation is the same and the competition keeps getting worse,” he stressed.

The concerns by the local cement manufacturers have been intensified within the past few months as they fear the imminent collapse of their businesses.

A recent decision by the Trade Ministry to allow Korean cement company, Fujian, to export 500 thousand tonnes of cement to Ghana was also met with stiff opposition by the local manufacturers.

The Ministry has since defended its decision citing the insufficient supply to meet demand.

Some consumer interest groups and the importers association have however insisted that the country allows the importation of foreign cement to control pricing and avoid monopoly in the sector.