Prices should return to level of early last week — Bakhyt Sultanov calls on Kazakhstani entrepreneurs

Tuesday, 17 March 2020, 13:50:31

Today following the online Government session, the Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov spoke about the provision of food and essential goods during the emergency.

“Our main task now is to ensure uninterrupted livelihoods of the population with food and essential necessities. This task was set for the Government in yesterday’s decrees of the Head of State and in circulation. It was said that food security would be fully ensured in this difficult time. As already mentioned, one should not give in to hype and stock up for the future. All objects of trade work in full mode. There is a restriction on large facilities, this is done only for the safety of our citizens, but in general the provision of products will be fully organized. For this, additional measures have been taken,” Sultanov explained.

First, the akimats together with the bodies for protecting the development of competition, as well as the bodies for protecting the rights of consumers, will regularly monitor price changes and prevent price collisions.

“I appeal to entrepreneurs, where there are attempts to unjustifiably increase prices, prices should return to the level of the beginning of last week, if this does not happen, then all necessary tools will be applied, including as mentioned in the Presidential Decree, the Government is given the opportunity the introduction of price caps. This is an extreme measure, but it is an effective tool for our entrepreneurs to understand that during an emergency it is necessary to ensure social responsibility on the part of business. We will not allow profit from our citizens in such conditions,” said the minister.

Second, interdepartmental interaction will be ensured for a balanced and interregional distribution of goods. In the current situation, it is the regions that are actively engaged in providing food supplies and inter-regional supply is organized. The relevant information from the Ministry of Agriculture on the lists of manufacturers and traders of products in the regions is provided.

Third, the use of market-based instruments of price containment has been expanded, the so-called “negotiable scheme,” local executive bodies are actively working with retail chains that commit themselves to working directly with food producers and laying them down, especially since the supply season is starting, including from the southern neighbors, and this scheme showed itself very well last year. All areas are actively included in this scheme.

Fourth, in the event of a shortage of goods, Stabilization Funds and the Committee of State Material Reserves can also carry out commodity interventions, but such a shortage is not expected.

Fifth, the activity of local executive bodies is being worked out and exit trade routes are being approved.

“No need to create panic. As much as possible local executive bodies, together with trade facilities will ensure availability of products. The work of only large shopping centers is limited, the work of only the shopping and entertainment part is stopped, but nonetheless food courts in the shopping center are given the opportunity to switch to delivering products to their homes,” Sultanov summed up.


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