Shops in Honiara are complying with the prices of goods in their shops. Recently the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration issued a notice calling on all shops to maintain their prices.
All traders have been warned against exploiting the situation by raising the price of goods due to the spread of COVID-19 infection.
A visit to shops mainly in Honiara’s CBD confirmed that most shops have not raised the prices as has happened in other countries.
Most goods have a difference in cents only. Most prices of essential goods are observantly in compliance with the prices set out by Price Control Unit.
“Except for rice from Solrais we bought them at a higher price thus we cannot set our price to that expected by the Price Control Unit”, a shop owner in one of the shops in Honiara’s CBD said.
He said it will be a loss for his business if he lowers his price.
Rationing, price controls, and rules against hoarding has become necessary in other countries as some face shortages in certain items.
The Ministry says the business sector should not seize this opportunity to increase the prices of consumer goods and services, hoard food and essentials, or distribute goods of unsafe and low quality.
People in the capital and provinces are starting to stock up on essential items such as rice, noodle and tuna amid concerns that there might be a shortage of consumer goods and foods in the event of a shut down.