Ver Angola

Trade

Consumer association calls for review of product import policies

The president of AADIC - Angolan Association of Consumer Rights defended some flexibility on the part of the Government in its public policies on the import of products, especially those of the basic basket, advocating the opening for a subsidy.

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Lourenço Texe, who commented on the problem of price increases, essentially for products in the basic basket, said that the situation is verified throughout the country and is a concern of the association, which has received numerous complaints every day.

"There should be some flexibility on the part of the executive in what has to do with public policies, especially with importers so that they could import these products and have, if possible, subsidy for these products from the basic basket, because that is where the biggest problem ", said Texe, speaking to Lusa.

Prices in Angola increased 1.81 percent between September and October, according to a monthly report by the National Statistics Institute (INE), putting the 12-month accumulated inflation at the highest level since December 2017.

According to Lourenço Texe, the products of the basic basket - rice, sugar, beans, oil and pasta - are those that have undergone a greater increase, due to the importation of these products, some of which with restricted authorization, with the objective of increasing production national.

"This is creating many difficulties, because we do not yet have the capacity to respond to what is the basic need of the population in this regard. We can speak, for example, of rice, which is one of the essential products in our diet" , he stated.

The president of AADIC stated that the value currently practiced on the market for a 25 kilogram bag of rice "is creating some difficulty for people in its acquisition".

"And proof of that we have found that a family to buy a 25 kg bag of rice, which is what people used to do regularly, today they are buying two to three people, that is, two to three families are doing the division of a 25 kg bag of rice ", he said.

"In this regard, we have always given an example, when it is said that we already have some production - we even have it, but it is still not enough to cover the needs of the population - if we institute the rice day in Angola, when everyone has that having rice in that period, we will not have rice for the entire population, is the clearest example that we do not have enough production yet and hence this difficulty ", he added.

The official stressed that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has done something to allow the import of these products, but the operators claim that the application of these prices, considered high for the population, is due to the indexation of the import costs to the dollar and problems exchange rates.

Lourenço Texe said that there must be reference prices, "because they are even products with controlled prices", greater control by the entities that inspect the preparation and application of the prices of these products.

"It has failed, this inspection has been weak, in fact, there has been some, [but] it is not possible for them to inspect, control the price variation of all products in the basic basket, [because] they do not even have the technical, material and to do it ", he stressed.

"AADIC is following this situation with some concern, because the purchasing power of the population is deficient, people today have great difficulty in being able to purchase the basic food basket, taking into account the economic situation that the country is going through and which ends up affecting the entire population, "he added.

The problem is verified throughout the country, continued Lourenço Texe, despite the pronouncements of the authorities, mainly of the direction of the internal trade, related to the increase of the national production.

"Except that when they talk about the increase in national production, they refer more to products from the field, those cultivated by peasants and farmers, there has indeed been some balance in what has been national production, but then there are others that are really imported, we are talking about rice, oil and pasta, sugar, beans, are still imported products that create a lot of difficulty in their acquisition ", he stressed.

In one round, Lusa found that the bag of 25 kilograms of rice is being sold close to 14,000 kwanzas, the same amount of sugar almost 28,000 kwanzas, the 12 liter box of oil 14,000 kwanzas and the box of 20 packs of pasta feed 5000 kwanzas.

The INE data released Thursday show that the food and non-alcoholic drinks category was the one that registered the biggest increase in prices, with 2.11 percent, followed by alcoholic drinks and tobacco, with 2.08 percent, hotels, cafes and restaurants, with 1.97 per cenot, and clothing and footwear, with 1.89 percent.

The food and non-alcoholic drinks category was also the one that, according to the INE, "contributed most to the increase in the general price level", being responsible for 1.02 percentage points of the increase of 1.81 percent in October.

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