Cement price ‘bigger issue’
LAST WEEK’S BLOW-UP at the sand quarry in St Andrew over an 85 per cent price increase has shifted the spotlight to the high price of cement in Barbados and the overall cost of building construction here.
Construction magnate Sir Charles Williams complained that the protest against the operators of the sand quarry would be better directed against the operators of the Arawak Cement Company, which he said sells local cement in St Vincent for BDS$13.10 a bag cheaper than it is retailed here.
In fact, Sir Charles said, if the protection provided for Arawak’s owners, Trinidad Cement Limited, was removed Barbadians would be able to import cement from South American and European producers for as much as 40 per cent less than they can now obtain it locally.
In response, Minister of Industry Donville Inniss told the SUNDAY SUN he had received several complaints from the construction sector about “the high cost of cement” and while he had “not yet spoken to the people at Arawak” he was satisfied that it was a serious issue to be discussed.