The Zimbabwean government late this week raised its caps on prices for most basic commodities and agricultural inputs at the wholesale and retail level in a move that was welcomed by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce.
The National Incomes and Pricing Commission set new retail prices for white sugar, fresh milk, maize meal, cement, fertilizer, maize seed, coal and stockfeeds. Prices for opaque beer (as opposed to lager), soft drinks and vehicle tires also went up.
The government said last month that it was working with producers and consumers to ensure prices would be viable for all involved in the supply chain..
Shop shelves were emptied in July and August following government-imposed price cuts, but retailers are now reporting somewhat improved supplies of goods.
However, consumers said the new government-set prices are far under the parallel market prices they must pay to secure staple foods and other goods, adding that they don’t expect to see such commodities plentifully available on store shelves soon.
National Chamber of Commerce President Marah Hativagone told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the government’s move is in line with proposals that private-sector representatives have submitted on price controls.