Maputo, 22 May (AIM) – The Mozambican Minister of Industry and Trade, Silvino Moreno, announced on Monday that the government will shortly approve a decree on reference prices, particularly for basic goods, in order to control trading activities effectively.
Moreno said this is an instrument through which the government will control the prices charges for imported basic goods, avoiding that prices are fixed by the importers to the detriment of the consumers.
Speaking in Maputo, on the sidelines of the launch of celebrations of “Africa Week”, Moreno said the legislation on trade is being revised, including the profit margins that businesses are allowed to charge.
“This means that the country will have a mechanism to control imports and exports”, he added. “When an importer brings in onions or potatoes, he should not invent the price. It will be based on this instrument that we will be able to say ‘no, that’s not the right price’”.
The Africa Week celebrations will culminate on Thursday, focusing on speeding up implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area.
Moreno said that, in order to halt dishonest practices on the market, the authorities will introduce a system of inspection throughout the country, for a tighter control against illicit profit margins on the price of imported goods.
“This inspection will start at the import of the goods, and continue until their final sale”, he promised.
The government recognizes that some traders repeatedly practice speculative prices, particularly at moments of crisis for particular goods. As an example, Moreno cited the case of onions imported from South Africa, which have risen in price continually in recent days.