Mines Ministry Sets Price Ceiling for Dredged Sand

The Ministry of Mines and Energy has set the maximum price at which sand dredged from the country’s riverbeds can be sold to dealers at $3.30 per cubic meter, effective next month, a ministry official said Tuesday.

Dith Tina, a secretary of state at the ministry, said the price ceiling was imposed due to concerns that ministry-organized auctions—at which dredgers sell sand to onshore depots—were leading to increasingly high prices.

“We…don’t want the bidding to push up the price of sand available for sale to consumers in the market. So, to avoid this problem, we have studied some costs and determined that the sellers can charge a price that is profitable for them, but not higher than $3.30,” Mr. Tina said at a meeting at the Mines and Energy Ministry.

He noted that the ministry had also determined that each cubic meter of dredged sand sold at auction would be assessed a minimum fee of $0.40 payable to the ministry.

“We don’t know what will be the maximum fee that the sellers will have to pay…. It depends on their ability,” he said. “For the state, the higher the fee the better, but it is not good for consumers.”

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