By Sailu Bah
The Minister of Trade Abdou Jobe some days ago indicated that the government will be embarking on new measures on licensing importers, distributors, major and minor retailers.
Mr. Jobe revealed that the new regulations will come into force towards the end of January 2015, adding that his Ministry is issuing a licence and authorisation or registration regime for anybody who is an importer, distributor, major and minor retailer of essential food commodities.
Minister Jobe said the essential food commodities involved are rice, sugar, onions, potatoes, sugar, cooking oil, onions and potatoes, Tomato paste, flour, milk and chicken.
After the statement of the Minister, Foroyaa contacted the importers, distributors, the major and minor retailers to get their reactions. Most of them questioned the financial implications which could impact on prices. They suggested that if government wants to come up with an initiative which would help reduce prices they should try and waive or reduce duties on these commodities. They also said their businesses depend on the value of the currencies as businessmen mainly use the US dollar to purchase goods from other countries abroad.
They cited the depreciation of the Gambian Dalasi against all major currencies which is causing hikes in prices.
Foroyaa will contact the Ministry to find out the legal implication.