In recent statements two senior government officials have announced measures being taken in the case of certain economic agents working in the area of production, manufacturing and distribution of food products. In the first of these statements, the Executive Vice President of the Republic announced the takeover, for 180 days, of one corporate group for the purpose of guaranteeing production and fair prices, as well as government controlled sales of the products of other business groups that have allegedly engaged in price gouging. According to this senior official, these measures are based on provisions of the Executive Decree Enacting the Fair Prices Act. In the case of the second announcement, the People’s Power Minister for Industries and National Production, and Vice President for the Economic Sector, spoke of the “agreed prices” arrangements reached with several of the economic agents mentioned by the Executive Vice President, in the case of 27 products, and the continued “controlled sale” of other products. These “agreed prices” are provided for in the Constitutional Agreed Prices Act passed in 2017, an instrument that stipulates the fundamental guidelines for the Agreed Prices Program including, inter alia, voluntary agreements for setting prices, quality, availability, and distribution of goods and services deemed priority items by the National Executive. These recent statements are causing serious concern within the business community given that they pose a threat to free enterprise and the welfare of the population.
We must point out that, up to now and to our knowledge, no official publication has been issued concerning these measures.
Lubín Chacón G.