The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) said not enough consultations were done on price controls.
In a letter addressed to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, titled “Sustainable and market-friendly interventions to addressing price spiralling during the lockdown,” ZNCC said there is a need to shift from price controls to price monitoring. Read the letter in part:
ZNCC, with membership across all the value chains of the economy, was not consulted when the decision on the price freeze was implemented. Government announced that it was with immediate effect and that recent price increases, predominantly during the lockdown period, were speculative and unjustified. Government pointed out that the multi-sectoral stakeholders committed to a price moratorium to operate based on the prices which were applicable on March 25 and that this was supported by a Cabinet decision of April 21 2020.
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Vice-President Kembo Mohadi in April announced that the Government held a multi-sectoral meeting with the business community and agreed that businesses would maintain prices charged by 25 March as part of measures to cushion the public from effects of COVID-19-induced lockdown.
Meanwhile, some retailers are reportedly continuing to increase the prices of basic commodities in violation of the order.
More: The Sunday Mail