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Who faces a fine for exceeding food price ceilings

10 April 2020
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Exceeding the price ceilings for socially important goods may result in an administrative fine for a business of 100 MCIs (KZT 277,800), and a repeated violation during the year - a fine of 200 MCIs (KZT 555,600).

April 3, a joint order of the Ministries of Trade and Integration, Agriculture and National Economy "On the introduction of retail price caps on socially important food products" was adopted.

The order introduces retail price ceilings for 9 socially important food products for the period of the emergency regime:

 1) first-grade wheat flour;

2) first-grade wheat bread;

3) macaroni;

4) buckwheat grits;

5) polished rice;

6) beef (scapula-chest part with bones);

7) chicken egg, (I category);

8) sunflower oil;

9) table salt (except "Extra").

Prices differ depending on the region. The maximum prices can be found at https://beta.egov.kz/.../press-reliz-k-sovmestnomu-prikazu-mt.../press-reliz-k-sovmestnomu-prikazu-mt...

But the final retailers of these goods are grocery stores near home, these stores often buy them at a price above the limit. Here, firstly, it is impossible to allow administrative fines to be imposed on entrepreneurs who have already purchased such goods at a price above the limit, and secondly, it is unacceptable that these goods disappear from the shelves.

For example, if a kilo of rice is purchased by retailers in the capital at KZT 320, it is unlikely that these stores will be able to sell rice at KZT 307 per kilo as specified in the order. There is a risk of goods shortages. In addition, the cost of different items, such as polished round-grain rice, may vary significantly. Shops selling a premium segment of rice in addition to budget options also have a risk being fined, as the joint order of April 3 does not detail this distinction.

According to the Code of Administrative Offences, price monitoring and consideration of administrative cases under Article 202 "Excess of the maximum allowable retail prices for socially important food products" will be handled by akimat workers.

Dosmart website has been developed for this purpose. It will make it possible to monitor prices for 19 socially important food products online.

Akimats and ordinary customers can enter data to the platform by sending a photo or cheque. Price control will be carried out through public monitoring. The sanction under Article 202 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Kazakhstan does not provide for an alternative form of punishment other than a fine. There will be no warning for exceeding the prices of these 9 items - only a monetary penalty.


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