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Mnangagwa says no to price control law

28/12/2017 00:00:00
by Staff reporters
 
No ... President Emmerson Mnangagwa
 
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President Emmerson Mnangagwa Thursday said the government will not rush to legislate on the pricing of essential goods urging dialogue between the state and concerned stakeholders to resolve price hikes impasse.

He was responding to questions from journalists at the swearing in of Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi at the State House.

Mnangagwa said the government had no intention to legislate on goods’ prices and is reluctant to do so because it believes in negotiations.

“We urge dialogue on pricing of goods. It is not acceptable to have unnecessary price hikes. We urge retailers to stop profiteering as we continue to find solutions to the issues affecting the manufacturing industries,” said Mnangagwa.

The President, however, warned that the government could still put price control mechanisms if retailers continued profiteering.

Just before the start of the festive season, both local and imported goods’ prices shot up by more than 50 percent as retailers complained of shortages of the US dollar on the market and other constrains. This gave rise to the black market on the bond note and US dollar exchange rate.

Among the goods whose prices shot up were bread, beef and eggs and some imports. The government had to intervene, ordering retailers to revert to original prices. The price of bread had shot up by 10c per loaf.

Meanwhile, industry minister Mike Bimha said there were still some manufacturers and retailers who, in their quest to profiteer, are still charging higher prices using a three tier pricing system and failing to display prices on their goods.

Bimha said he had instructed the Competition and Tariff Commission to urgently look at the possible collusion on pricing by the players in industry.

Addressing a media briefing in Harare at his Mukwati office Thursday Bimha, said the government will not put legislation that will control prices as that will have a negative impact on the sector. He said some were now complying with the government directive not to wantonly increase prices.

“The National Competitiveness Commission (NCC) is already working with stakeholders on the cost build-up in the value chains of essential products,” he told journalists.

“This exercise will help us identify culprits within the value chains, who are responsible for exorbitant mark-ups which result in high prices of end products.”



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“The exercise will also help us to deal with the root problem that we are seeing on prices rather than punish everyone.”

Bimha added, “We don’t believe in punishing 10 producers for a sin being committed by one.” 

 


 
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