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Mar 9, 2023

Watch Out! Supplies Control Amendment Bill to Address Price Gouging

You have been warned and now the government is taking action. Last week, Prime Minister John Briceño told the media that a taskforce was set up to address the global issue of inflation and more specifically the extensive price gouging that has been taking place – primarily in smaller stores across the country. A report has confirmed this and today, Minister of Food Security Jose Abelardo Mai informed that a piece of legislation, the Supplies Control Amendment Bill, will be tabled before the House of Representatives on Friday which will see these delinquent stores being ticketed for price gouging. The amendment to the legislation will go further to possibly shutdown these businesses. Minister Mai says that storeowners gave the government no other choice than to impose these measures.


Jose Abelardo Mai

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Food Security

“Worldwide, there has been an increase in the cost of living, but there are some business people who take advantage and gouge. That is definitely unacceptable and it has to stop. Our supplies control team made an assessment of some of the stores and that revealed that some of the smaller stores are those that gouge the most, but we have to go back again and look at the bigger picture because in San Pedro there has been evidence of gouging. In the southern part of the country, I think some people are in court right now. But as it is right now it is difficult to get anybody convicted or fined because it is a long lengthy legal process. With the ticketing, it is immediate. First have to train the public servants, they walk into a store and whenever you are caught with one offense, that’s five hundred dollars. You can be caught with five offenses, ten offenses in one store. So we lock down that store, you don’t open that store until you pay your bills and it’s also announced on the media that this store was caught gouging. I think that we have to do that because first we were reluctant to go this way. We thought that the stores would understand and be a little bit more considerate; that has not happened, the trend has not eased up and so we now have to implement the law. It will be tabled in the House this Friday.”


Duane Moody

“Timeline by when you think this will be implemented?”


Jose Abelardo Mai

“We want to have this out by April. But we will start visiting the stores as of now.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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