The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, has ordered three committees to probe into the recent hikes in prices of building materials.

According to reports, a bag of cement sold for GH¢38 last year surged to about GH¢45 in March 2021.

This, he says, the rapid increase in building materials will negatively impact the country’s construction industry if measures are not implemented to curb the trend.

“I direct the Finance Committee assisted by the leadership of committee of works and housing and committee of trade and industry to investigate the escalation of prices of building materials and related materials and report to the house within four weeks.”

The directive by the Deputy Speaker comes after the Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee Kweku Kwarteng in a statement on the floor of the house on Tuesday stated that the recent increases have been unusual and is putting a strain on the country’s economy.

“I want to draw parliament’s attention to some unusual price development in our market in respect of building materials namely Iron rods, cement, sand and other aggregates for construction.

“In recent times there has been an unusual price hike of these items on the market which has understandably provoked complaints from industry operators and consumers,” Mr Kwarteng added.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has presented to Parliament a request by government for a $28 million loan from the National Investment Bank.

According to the Ministry, the loan is to finance the purchase of 275 vehicles for the members of the eighth Parliament.