Govt. Seeking Long Term Solution to Price Increase


Government is currently seeking a long term solution to deal with the price increase on basic food items, which is to include the wider CARICOM region.
Speaking at a press briefing on February 12, at the Ministry’s office on Trafalgar Road, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, pointed out that the regional heads of CARICOM met in Guyana to look at the challenges that face the region in relation to rising commodity prices.
“There is to be a follow-up meeting this month where we will be looking again at certain sensitive items which impact on the cost of living, to see the extent to which there can be commonality or how as a region, we can share experiences and arrive at a position that would facilitate all parties,” the Minister told journalists.
Citing the current $500 million price support programme being undertaken by the Ministry, Mr. Samuda explained that the primary objective was “to stabilize prices and protect the most vulnerable in our country who are ravaged by these increases.”
In this regard, the Minister informed that the government was exploring the route of targeted support whereby those persons more vulnerable would be given financial support through initiatives, such as the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH).
The Minister also revealed that the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), the agency which is implementing the programme, has been surveying several shops and supermarkets to ensure that they are adhering to the recommended prices for the food items.
While most places were complying, it was also noted that corner shops were selling the subsidized food items at 10 per cent more than some supermarkets, he said.
The recommended maximum prices for bulk counter flour is $55.00 per kilogram (kg); white rice $60.00 per kg; cooking oil, $149.00, and whole milk powder to be sold at a maximum price of $65.00 per 80g sachet. In addition, the prices of bread and water crackers should remain stable.
The Price Support Programme was introduced in January, allowing the government to provide subsidy on basic food items until March 31.

JIS Social