Industry, govt in price hikes crisis indaba |

By Alois Vinga

INDUSTRY representatives were Friday taken to task by the government over errant price increases ahead of the festive season with the latter claiming engagements were fruitful after the meeting.

The engagements come on the back of price hikes which began early this week; laundry soap has gone up by 16%, cooking oil by 13%, bread by 12% and mealie meal by 9% while the price of sugar has not changed.

The developments prompted Industry and Commerce Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni to call for a crisis meeting to resolve the mayhem.

Business Member Organisations (BMOs) such as the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe, National Bakers Association, Oil Expressers Association of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Retailers Association, Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, Zimbabwe Sugar Sales and the Zimbabwe Sugar Association attended the meeting.

Traders in Zimbabwe have been accused by market watchers of adopting business values bent on profiteering owing to the past experiences of the hyperinflationary era.

“As the Ministry responsible for Commerce and Industry we have the onus to get to the bottom of this and nip negative developments in the bud.

“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 Policy Regime and this must be maintained to promote consumer welfare,” said Nyoni after the meeting.

By the same token, Nyoni said the government had also witnessed and enjoyed normal supply of basic commodities on the market with no shortages and crises as happened in previous years.

She expressed gratitude after revealing that BMOs and government joined hands to ensure there are no further price increases, particularly during this festive season.

“We also agreed that business community should trade fairly and desist from profiteering and from creating artificial shortages,” added Nyoni.

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