NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Philip Davis will meet with retailers next week and convey the necessity to strike a ‘balance’ between their profitability and ensuring food security for Bahamians, Press Secretary Clint Watson said yesterday.
Bahamas Retail Grocers Association president Philip Beneby in an interview with Eyewitness News this week warned that the federal government’s decision so as to add 38 extra food items to the value control regime would “cut deep” into the profit margins of local retailers, adding that some may not last the six month trial period of the regime’s expansion.
Davis during a televised national address Tuesday night acknowledged the high cost of living within the country as he pledged to do more to tackle the difficulty. Davis announced that the federal government has added 38 new items to be subject to cost controls within the country.
“We’re limiting the wholesale and retail markup of on a regular basis items like diapers, and food like chicken, eggs, bread, bananas, apples, oranges, broccoli, onions, and potatoes. This stuff are being added for at the very least a 6-month period, at which point we’ll review and evaluate the impact on businesses and consumers,” said Davis.
When asked about concerns expressed by retailers over the expansion of the value control regime, press secretary Clint Watson said: “There may be a gathering with the prime minister and retailers next week Tuesday. What the prime minister will convey to them is that providing relief for the Bahamian people is primary on the list of the prime minister.
“Access to food is significant for our people. There should be a way we are able to manage how are in a position to be certain that people can afford to go to the food market and buy goods for his or her families. What the prime minister has done is put relief in place for wholesalers and for retailers.
The press secretary pointed to the reduction in customs and import duties on food that was intended to bring some relief to wholesalers and be passed on to consumers.
Watson added, “The prime minister will seek advice from them. One in every of the things he’ll convey to them is that we wish to offer an environment where retailers can thrive but additionally one where consumers and Bahamians can survive. Having the ability to find that balance is what the prime minister is doing.”