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 Daily price hike in basic commodities raises alarm
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Momodou



Denmark
10155 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2021 :  15:34:10  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Daily price hike in basic commodities raises alarm
The Point: Jan 26, 2021
By: Yusupha Jobe


https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/daily-price-hike-in-basic-commodities-raises-alarm

Gambians from different walks of life have expressed frustration, concern and anger over daily surge in prices of basic food commodities at the local markets and corner shops.

The country in recent months has experienced daily spike in the prices of basic food commodities such as: rice, sugar, onion, fish, vegetable cooking oil and palm oil – a situation that attracts concern and alarm among many particularly the market goers and consumers.

Some expressed dissatisfaction, while others see it as uncertainty for their families particularly on daily survival.


The Point in an interview with market vendors and consumers in the bid to unearth the issue surrounding the circumstances, expressed doubts and frustration over the situation.

According to them, the recent increase in prices of basic goods is very worrying.

Omar Hydara, a shopkeeper states that “a bag of sugar is now costing D1350 as opposed to D1250 before. Also a bag of American rice is now costing D1250 as opposed to D1075.”

“It is true, I am selling in a shop and I normally go to buy goods for the shop, but really the prices on basic goods are increasing daily. Really people are facing difficulties with the current surge in prices of basic food commodities,” he openly stated.

Binta Bojang, a market vendor in Brikama, West Coast Region, said she normally sells fishes to buy certain basic food commodities such as rice, cooking oil and onion for consumption. But according to her, these commodities are now becoming unaffordable and costly due to their daily price increase.


“I am left with nothing but to only urge the government to address the ongoing increase in prices of daily consumable goods. I cannot even imagine that a gallon of 20 litre vegetable oil now costs D1300, with a cup being sold at D15 as opposed to D1250 for a bag of rice and D12 for a cup before.

“If you also look at the current price on 20 litre gallon of palm oil, it costs around D 1350 which was sold for D1150 before. And equally a bag of onion now costs D700 which was sold at D450 before.”

And what is sad about it is that a basket of fishes (bonga) is charged at D400 and each costs D2.50. “This is really worrying as a country,” she said.

Fatou Jammeh, also a vendor, said she normally returns home with her goods intended for sale at the market, stating that customers always complain of the price charged.

“We have no other option but to return home with plenty of our goods intended for sale at the market. This is because consumers would complain about the high price and at the time; some people would not even bother to come to the market to purchase things for consumption.

“This is because we also have it at a higher price, especially the palm oil, fishes and onions that I sell,” she stated.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone

toubab1020



11232 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2021 :  10:46:07  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
https://foroyaa.net/importers-link-essential-commodity-price-hike-to-demurrage-charges/

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Importers Link Essential Commodity Price Hike to Demurrage Charges
By: Kebba AF Touray
Foroyaa:February 1, 2021


Importers of essential commodities in The Gambia have informed the National Assembly Select on Trade that the high charge on demurrage is one of the major factors contributing to the hike in prices of the essential commodities.

Demurrage, according to Merriam Webster dictionary, means a charge for detaining a ship, freight car, or truck.

The importers made this disclosure on Thursday 28th January 2021, during their engagement with the Trade Committee on the reason for the constant hike in commodity prices and discuss what can be done to curb the trend.

“There is also a high demand on essential commodities, especially in Africa and the production level is very low. Increment on the demurrage on trade in containers is US$3000 to US$ 4000 on rice, sugar and oil. This is another major factor for the increment in basic commodities,” said the importers.

They also told the committee that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they have problems in importing and when it comes to shipping, most of the ports in the Far East of India and Pakistan, have to operate the way they were in pre-COVID-19 era.

“Before the pandemic, the costs of shipment of a container of rice used to be around US$1600, but today it is US$3800 to US$ 4000. At the same time, factories and suppliers are not working consistently… In some cases 50 per cent of them are working, while the remaining fifty percent of them are not operating. So this has caused lack of capacity or scarcity in the shipping of the essential commodities,” the importers said.

According to the importers, they have series of meetings with the Trade Ministry and the ministry has asked them to produce their weekly sales; their weekly prices, sales and weekly stock levels.

“We are trying our best to sell at the cheapest price and not to increase our prices. It is not our favor as business. On the other hand we have to import and sell at a cheap price,” the importers said.
Photo: Committee Members

Gamfood Trading Official revealed: “Currently, there are plans afoot to start oil production in the country in the next three to four months, under the project called United Vegetable Oil Industry at Saroo.

“It is taking time because of the pandemic, because our materials and machinery keep delaying, but in the next three to four months we would have clearer view when we will start.”

Commenting on demurrage, the importers informed the committee that the government should look into the charges on containers importing essential commodities in to the country with a view to fixing it at an affordable cost.

They also told the committee that the fact that they had some stock in sugar prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which has really helped, stressing that without the stocks, the price of sugar would have been higher than its current price.

The importers also said the closure of businesses and loss of jobs are some of the contributing factors to the rise in prices of the commodity. They said the supply is low due to effective operations of the shipping and supplying companies.

The Chairperson of the Trade Committee, Muhammed Mahanera, hailed the importers for honoring their invitation and providing the information to the committee.

Mahanera said the information would guide the committee in its struggle with the stakeholders to ensure that the persistent price hike of commodities is reviewed and fixed at a reasonable price.

The Importers who appeared before the trade committee, included Shyben A Madi and Sons Limited, Gamfood Trading,Nandu, Sas Enterprise, L.B Gaye and Sons Sugar Company, Tony Banana and Sons Ltd, EASB NAFA Ent, Mustapha G Jallow and Sons, Bussura Trading, I J Enterpise, M A Jallow Food Trading and Khalil Jaafar.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11232 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2021 :  11:40:24  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
==========

https://standard.gm/trade-ministry-attaches-import-license-to-essential-commodities0/


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Trade ministry attaches import license to essential commodities
Press release March 26, 2021


The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment wishes to inform the general public especially the importers of essentially commodities that the essential commodity Act, enacted in 2015 is being brought into force. The Act aims to regulate importation, distribution and retailing of essential commodities to ensure availability at fair and reasonable prices.

The Act requires importers of essentially commodities to obtain an import license from the Ministry to be able to import these commodities. The essential commodities in question are rice, sugar, edible oil, flour, chicken legs, whole chicken, onions and potatoes.

In this regard, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment is reintroducing the licensing system and hereby informs all importers of the above commodities to obtain an import license from the Ministry with immediate effect. The enforcement of the import license will commence by 1st May 2021. No importer will be allowed to import the above commodities without an import license. The application form and the guidelines can be collected from the Ministry from Monday to Thursday during working hours (8:00 am –4:00 pm) and all completed application forms should be submitted to the same Ministry.

This Ministry requests the understanding and cooperation of the general public particularly the importers in this exercise.


"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 26 Mar 2021 11:44:06
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toubab1020



11232 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2021 :  11:22:48  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote


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https://foroyaa.net/gambia-government-regulates-prices-of-cement/

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Gambia Government Regulates Prices of Cement
By Yankuba Jallow
Foroyaa: April 5, 2021



The Gambia Government has announced that cement is now put in the category of essential goods as a mechanism to control the continuous hike in the price of cement.

The announcement was made on the 1st April 2021 by the Ministry of Trade in line with the Essential Commodities Act enacted by the National Assembly in 2015 which serves to ensure that, in the interest of the general public, the importation, distribution and retailing of essential commodities in the country is regulated to ensure its availability at fair and reasonable prices.

The Ministry indicated in the release that they have conducted series of consultation with relevant stakeholders and it was confirmed that there is a disproportional increase in retail and wholesale prices of cement. The price of cement ranges from D265 to D285 while the retail price used to range from D240 to D400 over the past few weeks.

In the new regulation by the Government, cement will now cost D285 for wholesale price and D305 for retail price.

The Government warns that persons found selling cement above capped prices will be subjected to the full penalty of the law as stipulated in the Consumer Protection Act.

Government has asked all traders (importers, distributors and major retailers) of cement to obtain license with immediate effect in line with the Essential Commodities Act.

Major traders in cement were approached for comments on what was responsible for the hike in the price of cement. Their response was that the buyers used to increase the price. However, they said they believe the new regulation will address the problem.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11232 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2021 :  12:35:04  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fuel Pump Prices Increase, Food Cost Creeping Higher, Grim Ramadan Awaits Gambians


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https://www.chronicle.gm/fuel-pump-prices-increase-food-cost-creeping-higher-grim-ramadan-awaits-gambians/

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Fuel Pump Prices Increase, Food Cost Creeping Higher, Grim Ramadan Awaits Gambians

By Kaddy Jawo
The Chronicle: 6 April 2021.



The price of a petrol litre at pump stations has increased in The Gambia from D47.03 to D52.03 while diesel outstretched from D46.64 to D50. 64. The fuel increment adds to the recent price hikes of food and basic commodities that are irking consumers, especially those with meagre revenues.

The reasons behind the increases range from poor economic and trade policies to the countless excuses generally placed on the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile,

Ramadan is fast approaching while the prices of basic commodities remain unaffordable to many households.

In a poorly regulated environment, retailers continue to dictate the pace of prices and not the traditional market and tandem with the demand and the offer. The most vivid example is that of the cement. While the factory price ranges from D265 to D285, the retail price has ranged from D340 to D400 in two weeks.

It took a general public outcry before the Ministry of Trade finally acts to put a threshold at D285 for factory price and D305 for retail price. The effects of the ministry’s decision to classify cement as an essential commodity, and warnings against hoarding, are yet to be seen.

While Gambians believe that the government seems powerless, officials at the Ministry of Trade have told the Chronicle that instruments exist to lessen the skyrocketing prices. One of such instruments, The Chronicle has been told, is the 2015 Essential Commodities Act to ensure that, in the interest of the General Public, the importation, distribution and retailing of essential commodities in The Gambia is regulated to ensure its availability at fair and reasonable prices.

The fact remains that the importers and the retailers have outpaced the government in dictating prices and shortcutting the weak market regulations. Meanwhile, commodities continue increasing almost every day.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11232 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2021 :  17:05:03  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote



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https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/traders-consumers-decry-rising-price-in-commodities

==========


#Headlines
Traders, consumers decry rising price in commodities

Apr 16, 2021, 1:02 PM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara


It is Ramadan again and both Gambians traders and consumers continue to face the brunt of crooked market conduct and price hikes.

It is a tradition in the country that each year as the Ramadan approaches, prices of basic commodities are usually on the increase, putting both traders and consumers in a worrying state.

As many Gambians live from hand to mouth, the price escalations in markets coupled with the pressure and demands of the Holy month, if not addressed, could leave many families in a state of despair.

Fatou Badjie, a petty trader in chicken thighs at the Serekunda market said the price of a carton of chicken used to be D600 but has jumped to D850.

“This has really disturbed us. The reason we come to the market to sell is to get little profit but coming every day from morning to afternoon without getting anything is as a result of price hiking which is not good for us,” she complained.

According to her, their wish is to see prices reduced so that they can sell their chicken thighs at an affordable price to all.

“It would be better if they can restore the carton of a chicken to its normal price of D600 or D650. The kilo of chicken legs is between D75 and D80 which is about 3 legs. The carton of chicken legs would not surpass 21 or 22 legs, and it’s difficult to make D800 out of it,” she explained.

Awa Conteh, a trader who sells onion leaves, said most of the things they sell are now produced in The Gambia and therefore blamed local producers for the price hike.

Binta Silah, a consumer who was on Ramadan shopping, said she was desperately roaming the market as prices drove her nuts.

She called on authorities to take swift action, while stressing that the situation is badly affecting the under-privileged during the Holy Month.

“The hike in prices of basic commodities really disturbs us. When you come for shopping, the money you bring along usually finish before you are even done with shopping. Since yesterday, I have been coming for shopping and all the monies my husband gave me are finished. I had to take from my own money to add up, which is very difficult for us, she stated.”

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11232 Posts

Posted - 19 Apr 2021 :  12:57:11  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote



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https://standard.gm/nam-says-removal-of-sales-tax-on-rice-ineffective-0/

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By Tabora Bojang on April 19, 2021


The chairman of the National Assembly committee on trade, Muhammed Mahanera has called on the government to scrap the decision to remove the sales tax on rice importation.

The Sandu NAM argued the decision is ineffective and has created unbearable consequences in the lives and livelihoods of Gambians.

The government cut taxes on the importation of rice in 2018 following parliamentary approval in a move meant to provide relief for Gambian households.

But according to Mahanera, the decision has failed to make any drastic impact on the cost of living and instead, provided lucrative opportunities for rice importers at the expense of average Gambians as the cost of food commodities continues to hike.

The trade committee chairman was speaking to The Standard yesterday following a visit to the Gambia Ports Authority by a team of parliamentarians, who had discussions with different actors at the Ports to “get first hand information” to address public concerns on the prices of food commodities.

“When we removed the 10 percent tax on rice imports, we did so because we want the field to be competitive and the price of rice to be stable but it has not helped, neither paid any dividend. I think we either act and bring back the 10 percent tax or we make sure there is no re-export from here to other countries,” he said.

The Sandu NAM further argued that even though taxes were not waived for the importers of other commodities, the price of sugar continues to remain stable while the “price of rice is soaring up despite tax-free.”

“As a result, many people are now venturing into the importation of rice because it is tax-free and this is putting a lot of pressure on average Gambians.”

Mahanera also added that his committee has learnt during its discussions with the Port actors that the Gambia government has set a revenue ceiling for GRA to collect over D12.8 billion compared to D10.1 billion for the previous year.

“So, the government’s intention has also contributed to the increase of basic food commodities because there is no magic for them to print money; they just have to increase the collection.”

He said among the challenges heard by the committee during the visits were the “bureaucracy” among the different players at the ports, structural problems, lack of space, and delays in container processing.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11232 Posts

Posted - 20 Apr 2021 :  14:42:13  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote



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https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/trade-minister-reaffirms-govt-commitment-to-affordable-accessible-commodities-to-gambians

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Apr 20, 2021, 11:24 AM | Article By: Sulayman Waan


The minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment says his ministry and the government will continue to do everything legally possible to ensure essential commodities are available, accessible, and affordable to all Gambians.

Speaking at a news conference at Banjul on Monday, Minister Seedy Keita said: “My Ministry is aware that increases in food prices can have a major impact on the living standards of lower-income households, which generally spend most of their income on food.”

Giving an overview price of commodities, he said the price of American rice has increased from D1150 to D1300; Sadam rice from D1555 to D1800, 20-liter gallon of cooking oil was D1050 but now increased to D1450.

“Price for a bag of sugar was also sold at D1400 but now it has increased to D1425,” he added.

However, Minister Keita unveiled that more than eighty percent (80%) of the price hike in the country is caused by external factors that have gone beyond government control.

“The Gambia is a net importer of food like many other developing countries are now feeling the impact of the pandemic in the domestic market in a form of price hikes,” he said.

He revealed that despite the external factors responsible for the domestic hike price “there are other local factors that will worsen the situation includes demurrage charges as a result of the congestion at the port, the reintroduction of 20% reduction of the indicative values by Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), the registration fees of FSQA by food establishments and some of the local fees charged by shipping lines.”

However, Keita added his ministry has commenced working to stabilise the situation, noting it has conducted a diagnostic market study that was presented to the National Assembly Select Committee on trade for four times as well briefed cabinet.

The Trade Minister said his ministry has put mechanisms in place to lessen the pressure on consumers justifying that it has worked with Gambia Port Authority (GPA) officials facilitating quick offloading of vessels carrying essential goods.

Among other efforts, he highlighted his ministry’s partnership with GPA has maintained a flexible payment plan for the business community in terms of allowing more time to pay for taxes and providing tax breaks to businesses struggling to generate sufficient profits to pay their taxes.

“With these interventions mentioned above, we will be in a position to continue to ensure that consumers are protected during this trying period of the Covid-19 pandemic that we are witnessing,” he concluded.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11232 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2021 :  19:51:51  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote



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https://standard.gm/cif-charges-on-imports-lifted0/
==========




By Tabora Bojang April 23, 2021

The Gambia Revenue Authority has announced the lifting of 20 percent indicative value on importers of basic commodities, (cost insurance and freight), CIF, to cope with the country’s economic contractions and high cost of living in Ramadan.

The 20% levy was first lifted in April last year during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic to spur recovery for the business community in mitigating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their businesses.

However, it was reinstated in January 2021 due to the challenges it posed on meeting the GRA’s revenue targets for 2021, according to a correspondence seen by The Standard.

The Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in its market findings on price increment of essential commodities revealed that the re-introduction of this levy was one reason responsible for the unprecedented price hikes in the country.

However, in a recent correspondence to the trade ministry, the GRA said: “Following the recent hike in the prices of basic commodities in the country, the Ministry of Trade at a high level meeting with the Ministry of Finance and GRA appealed for the restoration of the concession on cost insurance and freight value for basic commodities and a decision was reached which saw the GRA commenced implementing the 20% reduction of CIF value for basic commodities from 3rd March.

“It is our fervent hope that this measure will achieve its desired objective by reducing the price of basic commodities especially during this holy month of Ramadan.”

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11232 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2021 :  15:01:47  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote



==========

https://standard.gm/union-calls-for-price-control-salary-revision0/
==========



By Mafugi Ceesay on May 3, 2021

The Secretary General of the Gambia National Trade Union Congress, Ebrima Garba Cham, has expressed deep concern about the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities and its negative impact on the lives of average Gambian families.

In a statement issued to mark workers day Mr Cham also urged government to consider establishing a price control system as a matter of urgency for the greater good of society.

He further urged government to upgrade salaries and invest in construction, public transport and car parks.

‘The Gambia is a developing country and needs both multilateral and individual foreign companies to invest in the country with a view to boost employment,” he noted.

On the condition of Gambian workers, Mr Cham said government should put strict mechanisms in place to protect the rights and dignity of Gambians in view of the flagrant disregard and open violations of the Labour Act by a number of local work industries. “Government is urged to create an inspectoral division within the Labour department to address and regularise the rampant anomalies that occur in the work industries,” he noted

Also speaking on unemployment, Mr Cham said it is recommended that government purchase trawlers with a view to introduce industrial fishing towards industrialising the sector to facilitate exportation of fish and to generate foreign exchange earnings.

Violent crimes

Mr Cham stressed that the upsurge of violent crimes in the country is becoming a very serious security concern. He blamed the rise on the influx of illegal migrants in the country without a proper control system. “In view of this anomaly, it is recommended that the police, immigration and other security apparatus are adequately empowered with equipment to properly monitor our porous borders”, he said.

Mr Cham concluded that the lack of transportation for magistrates posted at the regional court houses around the country is causing delays in sittings and therefore the judiciary should allocate them transport as a matter of urgency to facilitate their work and security.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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