Ethiopia: Crack down on price caps violators, 103 businesses shut down

January 13th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

ADDIS ABABA, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Ethiopia has penalised retailers and suppliers in the capital who raised the prices of consumer goods by amounts higher than caps set in January, authorities said on Thursday.

The Horn of Africa nation imposed price ceilings earlier this month on 17 imported and domestic commodities including rice, bread and sugar, in an attempt to ease inflationary pressures.

Under the new proclamation, retailers face closure, heavy fines and jail time if found guilty of repeated transgression, and are obliged to list the prices of all their items for routine inspection.
About 103 businesses have already been closed down in Addis Ababa since January 6, according to official figures. Authorities have said more items will be subject to an upper price limit in the coming weeks.

“We are at an early stage right now and this is just the preliminary warning,” Shisema Gebreselassie, director of the Addis Ababa Trade and Industry Bureau, told Reuters.
“Some of them may have already had their businesses re-opened, but will face more severe penalties if they repeat their mistakes,” Shisema said.

Kassa Getu, head of trade and industry promotion in the capital’s Bole area, said 46 of the 103 were in his district.
“They had inflated prices beyond the cap. There are ordinary shops, restaurants and other outlets among them,” he told reporters.

Ethiopia’s annual inflation rate slowed to 10.2 percent in November from 10.6 percent the previous month, but retail prices of some food items such as bread have doubled over the past year.
It targets an annual inflation rate of 6 percent over the next five years after hitting a high of 64.2 percent in July 2008, before entering a period of deflation from July to October last year.
Officials say traders have artificially inflated prices on the back of global price hikes and Ethiopia’s recent currency devaluation.
Addis Ababa devalued the birr by 16.7 percent in September, a move that was welcomed by the International Monetary Fund

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Editing by Helen Nyambura and Patrick Graham)

  1. Anbese
    | #1

    Dear Reuters editors, Ethiopia never penalised her own folks, People.
    The Ethiopian People are suffering by the current African Nazi-Weyane TPLF Jungle trained brutal regime.

    Zenawi and his wildish Authorities never been elected by single Ethiopian Nation as the World press, European observers confirmed.
    The Headline should be written the CURRENT REGIME at list.
    The TPLF racist regime never ever represent Ethiopia.

  2. Joseph
    | #2

    Can’t agree more!. Abel is Absolutely right!

    I have already friends who went back to Ethiopia and came back very much disappointed and angry. One of my friends put what is happening in Ethiopia now as saying “a country where chaos has corronated” which in Amahric sounds : ህገ-ወጥነት (ስርአት-የለሽነት) የነገሰባት አገር.

    Do you think a Diasporan is foolish enough to invest their money in a country where Meles and co twist their political gear when they want (every morning they get up from hang-over) creating Chaos and insecurity. Let them finish digging up their own graves first by stirring up the population.

    Folks! Do you know what is going on now? Meles is going back to the Derg era. First, he brough in Dr Eleni, to control prices of coffee market and cereals. It didn’t seem to work. Then they enacted a law caping prices of items. Now, it is the turn of traders who has got to pay the price!!!

  3. tazabiw
    | #3

    good for the poor peopel

  4. Drama
    | #4

    Reuter, the Caucasian’ interest drama producer and Walta, the Woyane interest drama producer believe they can fool the Ethiopian People once again. Well, they do have the right to their believes however they know deep inside we are not that stupid. Oh, needless to say, I should mention that Reuters that stands for the Entire Caucasian population is much smarter than Walta who is standing for less than 1% of the Ethiopiian population.
    What kind of How in the hail can you control prices in a country where over 95% of produces are sold just like it is a black market.

  5. Drama
    | #5

    Reuter and Woyane is , a friend dramatizing for a friend. Watch out folks, maybe this time these Anti-Ethiopian elements might eventually tell us that the result for the high inflation in the entire country are businesses, in this particular instance, that sell imported goods over the cap. It is possible to track imported goods and control price caps. However, what is the result of price hike on domestic products? Can Woyane explain what contributed to high prices on domestic products? Ehm, mind you guys, illegal business activity not respecting the country’s Imported Goods’ price index as a blame for the entire country’s inflation. Wow. I have nothing more to say. This is absurd.

  6. HELELE HANBABE
    | #6

    MELES NEVER CARED BEFORE TO CONTROL SPECULATORS FROM MANIPULATING THE PRICES OF BASIC GOODS FOR LIVING. DERGUE KILLED SPECULATORS IN LATE 1970s AS “ASHATREGNA YEBERBERE NEGADEWOCH” FOR SKYROCKETING FOOD PRICES, ESPECIALLY BERBERE. THE REASON WHY MELES TURNED AGAINST SPECULATORS IS DUE TO PRESSURES FROM IMF, WORLD BANK AND WESTERN DONORS FOR DOING TOO LITTLE OR NOTHING TO CONTROL INFLATION. MOST OF SPECULATORS ARE WEYANES AND MELES KEPT QUITE FOR A LONG TIME TILL PUBLIC OUTRAGE OR INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE PILED UP.IT CAME TOO LATE AMIDST HARD TIMES FOR ORDINARY FOLKS TO SURVIVE. IS MELES DOING THIS IN A BELIEF TO CONTAIN POVERTY IN FIVE YEARS BY CONDUCTING PRICE CONTROL? HAHAHA! IS THIS WHAT HE LEARNED ABOUT ECONOMICS THROUGH CORRESPONDENCE? HAHAHA!

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