(MENAFN-Caribbean News Global)
By Caribbean News Global Contributor
CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – In a statement on Friday, June 10, the Department of Consumer Affairs of the Ministry of Trade, Manufacturing, Cooperative Business Development and Consumer Affairs, informed that the government of Saint Lucia has approved the suspension of a six percent service charge on imported price-controlled goods. The importation of goods of all sizes under the Price Control Ordinance will now be subject to price control.
“You may have heard the Minister for Trade and Consumer Affairs, Emma Hippolyte informed the nation that the government approved the suspension of the 6% service charge on imported goods with price controls, as a short-term measure to cushion or “relieve the pressure” on consumers due to rising prices of goods and services said Permanent Secretary Sophia Alfay-Henry.
The consumer affairs department advised: “The department, through the consumer affairs department, is responsible for controlling the import, prices and sale of a group of goods that the government deems necessary for the daily subsistence of the average consumer and to help the development of key sectors.
Products whose prices are controlled include oil, milk, tuna, crackers, sardines, baby food, cement, etc. They are controlled either by a specific wholesale and retail margin or by a fixed price.
According to the press release from the consumer service:
“The measure applies to all goods controlled by a specific brand; for example, powdered and evaporated milk result in profit margins of 71/2 percent and 10 percent respectively on wholesale and retail trade. Therefore, prices for these products in supermarkets, small stores, or any retail/wholesale outlets should not exceed department-approved prices. »
“Goods already imported and either in warehouses or on retail shelves were priced using the six percent service charge. These prices will remain until the goods are exhausted. Price changes are expected for goods imported from June 1. There will be no application of service charges by the Customs and Excise Department. If the landed price of the imported goods remains the same, since the service charge will not be applied and the mark-up is fixed, then the price to the consumer will be lower.
The short-term government measure announced on Friday would apply to goods imported from June 1 to August 31, 2022, including 13 items and sizes currently under price controls.
However, Permanent Secretary Sophia Alfay-Henry indicated that ” further review of the sizes of these goods is ongoing and an update will be provided in due course .”
Separately, the Minister of Trade and Chairman of the Cannabis Working Group, Minister Hippolyte, noted Thursday that the fact-finding mission to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Wednesday June 8, to conduct a tour of several cannabis establishments, “seeks to draw on best practices globally to best inform the path that the industry in Saint Lucia will take.
“For greater clarity, the cannabis industry in St. Lucia has long been political football and a welcome underground economy to benefit all sectors of the country’s socio-economic life,” noted an article by Caribbean News Global. (CNG), July 30. , 2020.
Perhaps the opportunity has presented itself for the cannabis industry in Saint Lucia at be considered a short-term government measure and included as a domestic and imported item whose prices are controlled , to “relieve the pressure” on consumers and improve the economic development ecosystem.
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