Govt Moves to Address Unfair Trading Practices
Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa
Government through the Quality Assurance and Trade Measures Department in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is conducting an enforcement blitz on the quality and measurements of basic commodities and issuing appropriate fines.
Addressing the nation during a post-cabinet brief on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the government is increasing enforcement against collusion on pricing.
“Government is increasing the enforcement against the collusion on pricing by the Competition and Tariff Commission so that they quickly address the unfair business practices which have become rampant in the economy.
“The Ministry of Industry and Commerce is preparing to conduct evidence-based research within seven (7) days in collaboration with the Competitiveness Commission, Competition and Tariff Commission and the Consumer Protection Commission and all other relevant stakeholders with the ultimate goal of ensuring that consumers continue to access basic commodities at affordable prices,” she said.
She also said the Consumer Protection Commission is creating a hotline that will receive and respond to complaints from consumers to mitigate unfair trading practices in the market.
Meanwhile, a committee is currently investigating price hikes for essential goods and services.
Last week government pronounced Measures to Stabilize the Exchange Rate and the Macroeconomic situation.
Notable in that announcement is that the importation of basic commodities will no longer be subject to import duties, in order to enhance supply and availability of commodities at competitive prices.
Government continues the task of promoting local industry, quality, standards, and competitiveness while endeavouring to protect consumers from unfair trade practices.
“In this regard, the manufacturing sector has shown a positive trajectory with capacity utilization currently at 66 percent, from 36 percent before COVID-19 and shelf occupancy at 80 percent, from 47 percent before COVID-19,” he said.