New dispensation stabilises prices, claims Bimha

New dispensation stabilises prices, claims Bimha
Published: 24 April 2018
INDUSTRY, Commerce and Enterprise Development Minister, Dr Mike Bimha, says basic commodity prices have significantly stabilised under the new political dispensation and further reductions are expected as industry production increases.

Zimbabwe experienced sharp price increases last year on the back of distortions on the market, fuelled mainly by cash shortages and speculative tendencies, which left consumers on the receiving end.

Speaking during the 4th edition of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) Conference last Thursday, Minister Bimha said Government has since intensified price monitoring and ensuring availability of basic goods.

"You may agree with me that there has been a notable reduction and stability in prices of some basic commodities and further reductions are expected as production in industry increases," he said.

Dr Bimha said his ministry has since intensified its price and availability of basic goods surveillances through a series of price monitoring surveys and company visits throughout the country.

"A recommendation at Cabinet level was made that the National Competitiveness Commission should come together with producers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers to form a price harmonisation committee to unpack and influence policy on pricing of basic commodities within the different value chains," he said.

As such, Dr Bimha said, input costs will be lowered to allow business to enjoy economic profits and that the benefits will also be shared with consumers.

"It is imperative to note that high output at low input costs as a result of specialisation of work, machines, plants and firms is a good recipe for industrial growth. These efforts will result in more new businesses as they promote innovation," he said.

The minister said the legal framework to protect consumers of goods and services by ensuring a fair, efficient, sustainable and transparent market place for consumers and business has been drafted and approved by the Cabinet Committee on Legislation and awaits Cabinet and Parliamentary approval for assent by the President before it becomes law.

"This piece of legislation will provide for the empowerment of existing courts to address and resolve consumer disputes. The establishment of other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms provide for regulation of consumer organisations, the repeal of the Consumer Contracts Acts and providing for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

"My ministry will be responsible for the implementation of this said law through protection, awareness and education on fundamental consumer rights as set out in the UN Guidelines and the Constitution of Zimbabwe," he said.

- chronicle
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