Penza region Legislative Assembly discussed rising food prices
Penza, 17 February 2015. PenzaNews. Rising food prices in the Penza region were one of the main topics at the meeting of the regional Legislative Assembly Committee on Social Policy on Tuesday, February 17. At the beginning, Oksana Kuznetsova, head of FAS in the Penza region, reported on the measures taken by the department to monitor the food markets situation.
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“We carry out weekly monitoring of wholesale prices for vital foods. We opened a hotline for citizens to report all facts of higher prices for a particular product, and we promptly respond to this information. The active work is mow carried out together with the Ministry of Agriculture,” she explained.
Oksana Kuznetsova added that they conducted checks on reports of higher prices for bread, buckwheat, sugar, and chicken, which led to court cases against three sugar producers for violating the antimonopoly laws.
She also told the deputies that they conducted raids on commercial networks to verify the relevance of food margin together with the Prosecutor’s Office.
“We carried out checks of wholesale delivery enterprises. The information obtained is processed to make decisions. It is planned that the next step are major wholesale representatives and manufacturers,” Oksana Kuznetsova added.
Alexander Eremkin, deputy chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Penza region, asked whether regional price rise can be limited.
“I am ready to consider this opportunity, but the Trading Act does not allow the authorities to set price level limits. This right and authority is granted to the government of the Russian Federation, only in certain cases,” the head of the Penza region FAS explained.
However, she stressed that the department has no authority for price control.
“The country has market economy, and our prices are unregulated. We track down the violations of the antimonopoly legislation to avoid monopoly abuse and cartel agreements,” Oksana Kuznetsova said.
Ivan Belozertsev, chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Penza region, asked the committee members acting together.
“Some, in my view, unfair manufacturers are using the present day tough economic situation, the ruble exchange rate, and raise prices. People do not understand how it happens so swiftly. Eggs [gone up] by 20%. For what reason? If, for example, in some other region the price is lower. Or what is with the immediate 20% price increase for milk,” the speaker of the regional parliament sited the example.
According to him, FAS, the deputies, law enforcement agencies need to work more actively on the prevention of significant price rise.
“I think that if the public organizations, the governor, and the Ministry of Antimonopoly Service had remained silent, I assure you that our prices would have been much higher,” Ivan Belozertsev said.