Some grocers in the country have yet to change prices in accordance with the new prices under the price control list implemented in October of this year. Grocers say that they would like to negotiate with the government before changing prices. The Minister of Economic Affairs, Sen. the Hon. Michael Halkitis, spoke to this issue outside of Cabinet.
“Let me just say categorically there are no negotiations that will hold up the amendments. The amendments to the regulations are in place. We put them in place October 17th.”
The Minister continued saying, “the amendments are in place and we expect them to be respected. I have given instruction today for our inspectors to go out, once again, to inspect, where necessary to commence investigations and, you know, in order that we are looking to enforce the law where the law is not being respected. Since we brought in the amendments we have hired additional inspectors here in New Providence and we’re in the process of engaging additional inspectors as well in the Family Islands and giving them resources to do the job that they require.”
Minister Halkitis says that government has reached out to retailers and have compromised on several proposals. “We had discussions with the retailer grocers where they express some concerns. We went back and we made some adjustments, we increased some margins to account for perishables and to account for Family Island transportation, we thought that was a reasonable concession to some of the concerns that they raised. And so, for all intents and purposes the amendments are in place and we expect them to be respected.”