The Ministry of Trade convened a Stakeholder Engagement Meeting on September 28, 2023, at their premises to discuss the items listed in the Price Control Act CAP 138 of 1967.
The meeting saw the participation of various stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
The primary aim of the meeting was to gather feedback from stakeholders on the items that could be added or removed from the current list.
Ambassador Clarence Pilgrim, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, stated that the Ministry had taken note of the rising prices and therefore decided to revise the list.
In response to the increased global prices, food prices in Antigua and Barbuda have also been affected, as evidenced by the recent Consumer Price Index.
Thus, the Ministry initiated stakeholder consultations to take significant action to address the price increases.
Ambassador Pilgrim also pointed out that during the COVID-19 pandemic, essential goods were temporarily added to the Price Control Order to protect consumers.
However, with the current price hikes, a revised list of items is necessary. While the consumers’ needs will be considered, the views of merchants and other stakeholders will also be essential in compiling the revised list.
Mr. Orrin Steele, Director of the Prices and Consumer Affairs Division, noted that the Price Control Unit is constantly monitoring price control goods.
However, the Price Control Order, established on October 11, 1967, requires examination and updating to meet the current needs of consumers.
The initial meeting is the first of many as stakeholders work towards the final draft of the revised Distribution and Prices of Goods Act CAP 138, which will then be recommended to the Cabinet for adaptation.