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Alba Iulia
Sunday, February 21, 2021

Government moves in to Control the Prices of Essential Commodities

Economy Government moves in to Control the Prices of Essential Commodities

The government has reaffirmed its commitment towards curbing further hiking of prices of goods and services in the country. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma said the government is concerned with the sharp increase of prices for basic products in the country.

Mr Yaluma cited cement, sugar, wheat flour and cooking oil, as among the commodities whose prices have sharply increased. He pointed out that drastic measures have been put in place to mitigate the price hikes.

Mr Yaluma made the remarks in Lusaka yesterday during a press briefing. He underscored that the government is working with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to ascertain whether there is collusion and dominance among market players.

“We are concerned with the hiking of prices for basic commodities and our desire as the government is to have the manageable cost of living amongst the people. We are taking drastic measures to arrest the situation,” he said.

The Commence, Trade, and Industry Minister explained that the Bank of Zambia Act will be amended to halt the quoting of prices for goods and services in any foreign currencies.

He emphasized that government has among other things scrapped off the import duty of products to strike a balance in the market supply chain. Mr Yaluma was quick to mention that several factors have necessitated the increase in prices.

He cited the weakening of the local currency, the coronavirus pandemic and quoting of rental charges and key raw materials in the United States Dollars as among the instigating factors.

Minister of Commerce , Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma confers with Permanent Secretary Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Mr. Mushuma Mulenga and others staffed shortly after media briefing on the effects and efforts of the pricing of goods at his office yesterday, February 18, 2021. Picture by ROYD SIBAJENE/ZANIS
Minister of Commerce , Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma confers with Permanent Secretary Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Mr. Mushuma Mulenga and others staffed shortly after media briefing on the effects and efforts of the pricing of goods at his office yesterday, February 18, 2021. Picture by ROYD SIBAJENE/ZANIS

61 COMMENTS

  1. You mismanage the economy & then you wonder why prices have gone up. More like wondering why it smells around you after you fart. Come August!

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  2. THE ONLY PERMANENT SOLUTION IS TO REDUCE THE EXCHANGE RATE TO MANAGEABLE LEVELS. WITH $1 AT K21 , NOTHING CAN COME DOWN EVEN KAPENTA, BEANS, AND OTHER ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES OF SUGAR, MEALIE MEAL, WHEAT FLOUR, COOKING OIL, CEMENT AND EVERYTHING ELSE. AS LONG AS DOLLAR IS UP , EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE AND WE HAVE A HIGH COST OF LIVING. SIMPLE LOGIC.

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    • Johan Wind, I understand what you are saying. it is not possible to reduce the exchange rate because of the possible negative impact it will have on the economy as whole and for exports and imports for all us from a farmer, SMEs and big corporations. What government needs to do is stabilise exchange rate, revive the economy which has been the other way on the slide on the graph since 2011, They also need uplift the living standards by increasing salaries and wages for Zambian as the beneficiaries of the growing economy. Now our government has not plan, and this is an election year, it is unlikely that government will be thinking of improving the economy, they are busy scheming of how they stay in power. We have seen them dishing out money to individuals and bana maliketi. Giving…

  3. May our government work on the economy, something somewhere things are not okey, government should first look to what is leading to this commodities princes to be changing almost every week, the government should sit with the producers of this commodities ask them why they products are changing, then just to tell them to reduce the princes, the principle of business is to make profit

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  4. Direct price control will make issue even worse.
    Fix supply,though this could be a long term fix,government needs to also focus more on other crops,soya,sunflower,wheat.Wheat can be grown by small scale farmers too I have seen this in Tanzania,let’s grow these crops in abundance and supply will overtake demand in flour and cooking oil and animal feeds.
    FISP scope needs to be broadened,FRA scope needs to be broadened too.

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  5. ??????????… Ba Chipantepante government! Price controls in a Liberilised economy? Kwena our government has lost direction and these are the same people asking the Zambians to reelect them in August this year. AIKONA MAN!

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  6. Zambians are wiser than this. The PF Govt is trying to buy votes by imposing Price Control 5 months b4 Elections. Thru Bad Economic Policies,cost of living has skyrocketed , the Exchange has sharply risen and so is inflation. Too late 4 PF to buy votes thru Price Control. All right thinking Zambians should vote 4 HH aka Bally for a change. ECL and PF were given 10 years to turnaround this Economy but they miserably failed. Besides ECL doesn’t qualify for a Third Term becoz he has already been elected and sworn in twice. A Third Term is illegal and unconstitutional in terms of the current Republican Constitution. HH aka Bally will fix it.

  7. Can we print money and expect different results to what Zimbabwe went through? Every unbiased economist knows the cause this.You can’t be distributing money and expect prices to stabilize.
    As for controls,the moment you introduce controls, shortages begin.Weve travelled that road before.Price controls have failed everywhere in the world.

  8. Introducing Price Control 5 months b4 the August 12, 2021 Elections to buy votes. Too late 4 ECL and PF. We have already made our minds to vote 4 HH on August 12,2021. Rigging or no Rigging HH to Plot 1 come August 12, 2021. Period.

  9. Take measures that will re-value our kwacha.Price control will lead to shortage of commodities.
    Prices are going up because kwacha is loosing value everyday.This is not rocket science bwana minister.

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  10. People are no longer forming chilimba groups to buy assets, but the are now forming these groups to buy groceries, ONLY UNDER PF, NOT EVEN UNDER KK DID ZAMBIANS EXPERIENCE SUCH A HARDY LIFE.

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  11. In my language in Petauke this is called kugoma, where the thinking ability just comes to a halt. Why not just resign and go instead of even waiting for elections

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  12. Disaster of a government, never seen such incompetence since 1964. My argument is based that on the fact that all economic stats are in negative and this is before even Covid came. The economic trajectory of the country was already downward

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  13. Hahahaha…this is funny. You have failed to control the Fall of the Kwacha against the Dollar but you want to control the prices of Goods imported with the High Dollar Value. Are you MAD? Listen…you have FAILED. The only thing you can control is your ……I end here.

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  14. Mr Yaluma control rate of dollar not
    Prices of essentials. The economy
    Depends on this rate.secondly
    Control corruption and spending
    On buying at inflated prices for
    Your cuts as shown in honeybee
    Scandal.

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  15. clueless p0rn front party, all of them dull not even one bright spark, how did we get here with a dull drunk sh1t president and dander heads for ministers… that what happens when you take sh1t from chawama and try to clean it and dress it, it still remains sh1t… never changes

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  16. Yes kwacha yalipena and what do you expect? @Johan Wind the best and only permanent solution is to vote out this government on August 12 kwapwa!

  17. These are kicks of a dying horse. Introducing Price Control now and 5 months b4 the August 12,2021 will not fool voters. People are fed up and just want to see the back of Lungu and PF. They can use tactics of buying votes but People are now wise;they will eat ECL Money and vote 4HH aka Bally. Wait and see!

  18. This is a true reflection the PF GRZ has failed to manage the economy. Resorting to price controls in a free market economy will just kill off the few industries that have managed to keep their heads above the water. The government should instead formulate some initiatives to boost the means of production goods and services not introducing pricing mechanisms like was the case during the UINP era. The Minister should for forget that the depreciation of our local currency has negative effects on the cost of producing goods and services most of inputs are imported. It will be better for the Minister stop being emotional when making decisions.

  19. Please own up and stop blaming others all the time. Your media team has been preaching that exchange rate, inflation rate & foreign reserves are irrelevant indicators, so why are you intimidating companies & traders now ? You are just pathetic failures, own up for once. Completely visionless indeed.

  20. Reminds me of UNIP days, during budget presentation price of commodities where announced. Is there any hope of us getting out of the mess we created for ourselves?

  21. Kaizar Zulu and the said minister of commerce are same coz they start thinking at the 11th hour…….wen things have gotten out of control that’s why wen they talk only sh*****t comes out of their brains…..Mr Yakima was sleeping all along and only to wake-up the bus has already passed his destination.

  22. Hi fellow bloggers, I kindly need your help. I am thinking of writing my auto biography and I would like to get your input. Please comment below what you think about me or the fond memory you have of me.

    For example think of the amazing things that remind you of me. For example like when I saved a man’s life who was drowning in the kafue river after one of my boat parties. Or when I won the award for most handsome pupil during my secondary school

    Thanking you in advance.

    Please no negative insults. Be mature

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  23. How can you even import components for chicken feed ????

    This is where the problem is…….

    busy building uneconomic roads , empty hospitals and equipping the police for war yet you forgot that you import everything……

    It is too late to concentrate on manufacturing when now the process of manufacturing is priced out of reach……

  24. Zambians should now clearly see that we do not hv anyone in these corridors who has any trace of gray matter left,after plunging the economy with with brainless huge debts and with supervised corruption,you want to put out an inferno using urine

  25. First of all there has been no power in the heavy industrial area for 3 days now. How will the companies run? Secondly you wont be able to control the runaway exchange rate because the government has failed to pay 2 eurobond payments and this is the direct result. Therefore clean your house before thinking of cleaning other people’s house. The mess has been in the making throughout the 10 years pf have been in power. The chickens have come to roost. And yes zambian citizen, thorn and the rest. I am not bitter, i am just pissed off because people are suffering.

  26. What are the causes of price increases? Inflation, exchange rate depreciation, corruption and general mismanagement of the Economy. The ECL PF Govt is treating the symptoms and not the causes. What Zambia is lack of sound Management of the Economy. We need HH and his Economic and Financial Literate Managers to manage the Zambian Economy.

  27. HERE WE GO AGAIN! Price controls will mean shortages. When you control prices, the commodities disappear from the market. It is Economics 101. SIMPLE. My goodness! Reason has fled to beasts of the forests and left men clueless!

  28. The PF is going back 35 years to the UNIP policies, when they lost control of the economy. Similarly, the failed state of Zimbabwe has been doing the same, giving rise to a black market.
    Last kicks of a dying horse.

  29. Are you going to control the depreciation rate of the kwacha first? People of Zambia these are the leaders PF presents you with. What a wasted 5 years.

  30. Can the so called “TV levy” be changed to health levy so that many zambians in same predicament like our sister from kabwe can benefit from good health services, unlike feeding the our national TV broadcaster who can even float shares to the public on LUSE.

  31. Price Controlling ECL and PF back into Power? Will it work with Rampant Corruption?A continuation of ECL and PF Rule will be a disaster for Zambia. The writing is on the wall.

  32. I can’t make out what this minister is saying. What exactly will they do to bring prices down in a free market economy? Or is he covertly calling for price controls? Sometimes it’s better to keep quiet, especially when you have nothing to say lest you just irritate others. Silence is golden, ba honourable

  33. PF PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS AND BRING IN PRICE CONTROL NOW !!!!!!!!!!
    LET’S SEE WHAT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY DOES >>>>>>>>>>> DO YOU THINK THEY HERE FOR YOUR PLEASURE
    I DONT THINK SO ……..

  34. “The Commence, Trade, and Industry Minister explained that the Bank of Zambia Act will be amended to halt the quoting of prices for goods and services in any foreign currencies” This is a long overdue move. We cannot even be talking about it now. It should be implemented like yesterday. This is also a result of having almost all strategic industries run by foreign interest. These foreign interest are happiest when the local currency is as low as possible so that it boosts their earnings and pays for all their inefficiencies. We need a balnce of these things.

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