Consumers for fair commodity pricing
Some consumers have faulted the authorities for failing to regulate prices of basic commodities on the local market, saying the cost of living remains unnecessarily elevated.
Rise in prices of basic needs in the recent past has pushed the cost of living up.
The sentiments were made on Wednesday during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) in Mangochi District.
Chairperson for Mangochi Basic needs Action Group, Fahad Mdala, said prices of most basic needs, especially maize has increased tremendously, recently.
“For instance, maize in Mangochi is selling at K15, 000 per a 50 kilogramme bag which is very high compared to the income which most people are getting. The situation is made worse because there is no Maize in Admarc depots here,” Mdala said.
CfSC Project Officer for right to food, Irene Tonde, acknowledge that the price increase, especially in commodities such as maize has affected a lot of people’s right to attain food.
She said the basic needs basket for a family of about five people has increased with an 11 percentage points compared to November last year.
“At the moment, a family of five people needs at least K196, 000. But very few people earn such money. The maize market has been left to vendors and government is only watching them increase prices anyhow,” she said.
At the moment, Tonde said her organisation is continuing lobbying the government to consider removing taxes on some basic commodities as a remedy.
“We also want the government to increase the tax-free band because at the moment, a lot of people are not able to meet their needs,” she said.