Sunday, October 2

Traders cautioned against hoarding and overpricing

By Yamikani Yapuwa:

Ministry of Trade and Industry has cautioned business entities who have taken an opportunity over the devaluation of Kwacha to hoard essential commodities and charge excessive prices to desist from the conduct.

A Press release issued on Wednesday signed by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mark Katsonga said the entities are doing this with the intention of creating unnecessary shortage so that they over price their commodities.

“It has come to the attention of the Ministry that following the announcement of a 25 percent devaluation of the local currency by Reserve Bank of Malawi, some business entities are hoarding goods with the intention of creating unnecessary shortage and subsequently charging unfair and excessive prices for various essential consumer goods such as sugar, cooking oil, bread, soap amongst others,” he said in the statement.

Katsonga said the conduct was a contravention of the Competition and Fair Trading Act and therefore those involved must stop the malpractice forthwith.

“The Ministry in collaboration with relevant institutions will be carrying out monitoring exercises throughout the country and will not hesitate to take necessary drastic action to deal with traders found engaging in prohibited malpractices such as hoarding and charging unfair and excessive prices because of the recent devaluation of the Kwacha,” the Minister said.

He added that the Ministry was imploring all local manufacturers of essential and daily use commodities to provide to all their traders and also publish the recommended prices of their goods sold on the domestic market in order to guide the consumers accordingly.

“Consumers should be at liberty to demand from traders to check and confirm prices against the recommended price list of any commodities they suspect to be unfair or excessively priced.

“Members of the Public with information relating to those contravening the law should report the same to the Ministry or Competition and Fair Trading Commission,” Katsonga said.

On Thursday last week, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) announced the devaluation of Kwacha by 25 percent in order to realign the foreign exchange supply to macro-economic fundamentals.

RBM Governor, Wilson Banda said the there was a lot of informal foreign exchange trade and the move was meant to bring back forex into the formal system.

The Governor said that they do not expect prices of commodities to soar because prices in the shops already reflect to a large extent the Bureaux Cash Rate.

“To that extent, aligning the ADBs TT rate with the Bureaux Cash Rate should not lead to further price increases,” Banda said.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: