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Folha de Maputo (File)
The National Inspectorate of Economic Activities (INAE) visited 3,872 shops and other commercial establishments throughout the country during the festive season, but only found five cases of price speculation, according to the national inspector, Jose Rudolfo.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on Thursday, Rudolfo said that two of the cases of speculation occurred in the western province of Tete, two in Maputo, and one in Manica.
Speculation, Rudolfo explained, occurs when a shopkeeper “puts a product on sale at a price higher than what is reasonable. We have a law which fixes profit margins for the 12 goods which the government regards as basic. These have a maximum profit margin which the trader is authorised to apply”.
This margin is no higher than 15 per cent for wholesalers, and 25 per cent for retailers. Based on these margins the INAE determines whether any particular establishment is selling goods at a speculative price
Rudolfo said the inspectors also investigated 87 cases where assorted irregularities allegedly committed by traders were denounced in phone calls from citizens.
The offending establishments were fined a total of 6.6 million meticais (about 148,300 US dollars at current exchange rates). Goods past their expiry date and others that were badly preserved were seized, to a total value of two million meticais.
Rudolfo thought the balance from the festive season was positive, particularly because the supply of goods was sufficient to meet demand. He thanked traders and businesses for the effort they had made, and also praised journalists “who, in good time, denounced attempts at speculation, or at selling goods unfit for consumption”.Source: AIM
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