PRESS RELEASE: Chamber reports on “Getting Down to Business” session on price control

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PRESS RELEASE: Chamber reports on “Getting Down to Business” session on price control

A review of the Price Control legislation as well as the items on the Price Control List and the mark up permitted were all part of the discussions held when the Department of Commerce, Price Control Division and members of the Chamber met on Wednesday 2nd August, 2017, at the Chambers “Getting Down to Business” session.

Understanding the intention and objectives of the Price Control Regime and the impact on consumers and businesses was facilitated by open discussion to make the system more relevant, work more efficiently and achieve the intended objectives.

The Department of Commerce representatives wished to hear the challenges the regime and its current operations placed on businesses as well as proposed solutions which could be offered by Chamber members.

The meeting was reminded that items on the Price Control List are generally placed there to achieve some specific objectives including among others, to maintain reasonable prices on items which are seen as critical inputs for agricultural production, as well as items that are seen as staples in the basket of goods of the most vulnerable.

It was further expressed that some of the language in the Act needed to be revised as well as in some cases, particularly with agricultural inputs, some changes were needed as some of the goods were no longer being produced. The Ministry agreed to conduct a thorough stakeholder analysis on the Price Control List items. Additionally improving the processes involved in administering the Regime, through the use of technology.

It was agreed that another meeting of the parties should be convened within the next two months to continue and support the process of review and enhancing the system.

The “Getting Down to Business” Series continues on Wednesday 9th August with discussions on the Import License Regime.

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  1. It is past the time for the Chamber to change its posture on the business climate in Saint Lucia --- for good. It is time for the Chamber to aggressively adopt and embrace a posture for the growth of renewable energy in every economic and business sector in Saint Lucia.

    In order for affiliated and other businesses to thrive in the highly competitive global, and not just the regional business environment, cost per unit of production of everything produced (goods and services) in Saint Lucia must trend competitively down --- continuously. And this statement does bear repetition.

    We must curtail, and/or remove any financial obligation that ties us to carbon fuels --- in any form --- as a stated national policy. There are many new jobs that will become available in and with renewable energy. But this will become so, only if we train and educate our restless, depressed and hopeless youth --- differently. School curricula development must not wait for CXC -- only. We need a fresh start.

    Teach renewable education and technologies from the primary through to the tertiary levels of education.

    A new government affords this, working closely with bodies like the Chamber of Commerce. It is our future. We just have to become awake, grasp the opportunities and seize the day. Let climate change drive our business thinking and commercial opportunities---alliances, mergers and acquisitions even. The entire world is our marketplace.

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