Price Control: Trade Minister Descends On Markets

Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana’s inspection visit yesterday focused on rice and fish and he gave five days to vendors to comply with homologated prices and other regulations.

Vendors of goods of basic necessity have been called upon to respect homologated prices of the different items they sell. The Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana made the call yesterday March 26, 2019, after paying an inspection visit to some markets in the capital city Yaounde. At the Mokolo market, like in Acacias and Mvog Mbi, the Minister observed that price tags on certain items like fish, rice and vegetable oil were hand written with chalk; making it susceptible to on-and-off changes.

He instructed the businessmen to affix typed and printed tags on the products. Going by Minister Mbarga Atangana, vendors are generally ameliorating in line with respecting the homologated prices of basic goods, but there are still a few recalcitrant vendors. He instructed the vendors to comply with homo logated prices and other market regulations.

“Government is poised to ensure that market prices are respected. Government is not imposing prices. We had negotiated with actors in different sectors. And when one takes an engagement, he or she needs to respect them,” Minister Mbarga Atangana said.

He added that the prices were arrived at after long and difficult negotiations. “But we arrived at an equilibrium point; without hurting economic operators or consumers. So, there should be no reasons why these homologated prices should not be respected,” the Minister of Trade averred. After Tuesday’s inspection visit with his collaborators, the Minister told reporters that officials of his ministry now know their roadmap.

“Order must reign and I give five days for this order to reign. No one should think he or she is above the law or above the priority of government and the people,” Mbarga Atangana reiterated. Minister Mbarga Atangana told consumers that they have the right to deny inflated prices and denounce it in toto. He made this remark after observing that some vendors were retailing imported rice far above the recommended price. In some shops visited, a kilogram of rice cost as much as FCFA 500.

The homologated price for imported premium rice is FCFA 425 per kilogram in Yaounde and FCFA 390 per kilogram in Douala. Other rice types are to be sold at the recommended maximum price of FCFA 350 per kilogram in Yaounde and FCFA 330 per kilogram in Douala. It should be recalled that last week, many shops were sealed in Yaounde by the price control brigade of the Ministry of Trade for violating homologated prices.

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