Govt in umpteenth warning on price hikes

Source: Govt in umpteenth warning on price hikes -Newsday Zimbabwe

GOVERNMENT has for the umpteenth time warned the business community against hiking pricing during the festive season as it works with industry to make sure that there are no shortages during the year-end period.

In a statement over the weekend, Industry and Commerce minister Sithembiso Nyoni said retailers had enough stock to cater for the whole country.

She said her ministry would also act against price hikes during the period.

“We have witnessed and enjoyed price stability for a very long time now, ever since the Treasury and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe instituted a tight monetary control regime and this must be maintained to promote consumer welfare,” Nyoni said.

“Let me assure the nation that industry has enough stocks of basic commodities and that business will immediately work on modalities to ensure that there will not be any sharp price increases.”

Government met business member organisations last week to discuss pricing and market supply situation of basic commodities ahead of the festive season.

The meeting culminated in an agreement between the government and business that the latter would trade fairly and desist from profiteering and creating artificial shortages.

Basic commodity prices increased last week, with laundry soap spiking by 16%, cooking oil by 13%, bread by 12% and mealie-meal by 9%.

In the past months, wholesale and retail prices have remained relatively constant after the government extended the use of the United States dollar as legal tender to 2030.