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Concern over reluctance to reduce prices

by Staff reporter
16 Sep 2022 at 06:04hrs | Views
THE Parliamentary committee on Industry and Commerce has expressed concern over the reluctance by the business sector to reduce prices of goods and services in line with sustained and continued reduction of fuel prices.

The committee has engaged leading industry bodies — the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) and Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) over the matter.

The steady decline in fuel costs since the beginning of July, coupled with corrective policy measures being implemented by the Government have been commended for bringing about macro-economic stability and slowing down inflationary pressures.

However, consumers and workers are yet to feel the real impact of these positives on their pockets, as pricing of basic goods and services remains on the steep side.

Last week, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) reduced the price of petrol from $1,58 to $1,53 and that of diesel from $1,74 to $1,53 per litre.

In an interview with Business Chronicle on Wednesday, committee chair, Mr Joshua Sacco, said the business sector should not be motivated by making super profits at the expense of consumers.

"We have seen the price of fuel going down which should impact on the reduction of prices of goods and services, but that is not happening at a pace we would have wanted.

"We have had interactions with Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) and Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries to discuss these issues," said Mr Sacco.

"Business needs to also be patriotic and guard against focusing on making super profits but make a profit that is enough to allow them to remain afloat.

"Super profits are impacting badly on consumers by overcharging goods which must come down."

 He said the committee is appealing to the business sector to look into the cost factors and where possible bring prices down.

"President Mnangagwa once appealed to the business to consider the consumers. We are a USD-based economy and we tend to overprice our goods which impacts negatively on the consumers.

"As a committee, our appeal to business is to continuously review downwards the prices.

"During engagements with industry, they continuously refer to cost of production where in some cases they use antiquated equipment that needs replacement.

"But we are happy that during our tours of industries countrywide, we notice that there has been a lot of retooling  efforts.

"The cement industry is retooling and the fertiliser sector is on the same path. We should reduce the prices of cement and fertiliser. Retooling is very critical.

"Once business gets confidence in the economy, they should re-invest in retooling and bring down the costs of goods."

Source - The Chronicle
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