Lisbon (EFE).- The Portuguese government will hire a private company to monitor developments food prices and avoid irregularities and even reduce prices in some categories.
The company, which will sign a contract with the Executive Board next week, selected in an international tender, will record “consumer prices for the last 3 years and constantly update the same data”, the company clarified today. Lusa Minister of Agriculture and Food, Maria do Céu Antunesin an interview with Jornal de Notícias and TSF.
Once the agreement is signed, the executive will have “almost immediate” access to the data and will receive “alerts that will give the possibility of intervention,” Céu Antunes said.
In addition to the controls that this company will carry out, the Ministry of Agriculture has a Price Observatory that analyzes the weekly movement.
The minister gave the interview in the same week that the socialist government of António Costa announced that it had reached an agreement with the sectors production and distribution apply zero VAT to a basket of 44 basic food products.
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Support in the fight against food prices
The pact includes support for manufacturers to face rising costs, which, together with lost revenue, will have an impact on the public purse of €600 million, Prime Minister António Costa revealed at the signing ceremony. this Monday in Lisbon.
The measure is due to take effect between April and October, although the law must first be approved by parliament and then supermarkets will need 15 days to implement it.
Inflation in Portugal was 8.2% in February compared to the same month in 2022 and the inflation index unprocessed food products It reached 20.1% (1.6 points more than in January), “the highest rate since May 1990,” according to Portugal’s National Institute of Statistics (INE).
In March, the index for these foods fell to 19.3%, according to estimates by the same institute.
On the other hand, Portugal’s Agency for Food Safety and Economic Security (ASAE) recently promoted a nationwide operation to control food prices in supermarketsby revealing an increase in marketing margins of up to 50%.
Photo: EFE/Chema Moya
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