The Ministry of Trade held a Stakeholder Engagement Meeting on 28 September 2023 at the Ministry of Trade, to review the goods listed in the Price Control Act CAP 138 of 1967.
The meeting drew representation from various stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
The main purpose of the meeting was to garner stakeholder feedback on the possible items that could be added or removed from the current list.
According to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Ambassador Clarence Pilgrim, price increases have drawn the attention of the Ministry, and this is one of the reasons for the revision of the list.
“The high prices on the global markets are affecting food prices here in Antigua and Barbuda and the recent Consumer Price Index points out significant inflation in the prices of food items.
Thus, the Ministry has moved to initiate stakeholder consultations so significant action can be taken in response to the price increases.
Ambassador Pilgrim noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic goods deemed essential to protecting consumers were temporarily added to the Price Control Order, but with the price hikes since COVID-19, a renewed list of items should be put in place.”
Ambassador Pilgrim reiterated that the updated list would consider the needs of consumers but the views of merchants and other stakeholders will also be essential in compiling the revised list.
Mr. Orrin Steele, Director of the Prices and Consumer Affairs Division, noted that the Price Control Unit continues to work aggressively to monitor price control goods, however, the Price Control Order which was established on 11th October 1967, needs to be examined and updated to meet the current needs of consumers.
The director further explained that the initial meeting would be the first of many, as stakeholders work towards the final draft of the revised Distribution and Prices of Goods Act CAP 138 which will then be recommended to the Cabinet for adaptation.
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