prices2.jpgConsumer representative organisations say the proposed amendments to change the National Incomes Pricing Commission (NIPC) into a National Incomes and Pricing Board (NIPB) which only guides stakeholders on price trends and not to enforce corrective measures on unscrupulous business people, will have a negative impact on them.

 

Organisations which represent workers say plans to remove the NIPC’s powers to enforce prices will only leave consumers at the mess of unscrupulous business people who thrive on profiteering.

 

These sentiments came out at a public meeting organised by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce.

 

ZIMTA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sifiso Ndlovu said the proposed amendment to change the NIPC into a board will weaken the organisation’s mandate to protect consumers rendering it a toothless bulldog.

 

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe Chairperson, Mrs. Rose Siyachitema called on government to reintroduce regulations which protect consumers from business people who overcharge goods and services under the guise of the cost of production.

 

However, on one hand business is proposing the abolishment of any form of price controls with Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) vice president for Mashonaland region, Mr. Tendai Mavhima arguing that the levels of production is still low and the reintroduction of price controls may result in shortage of commodities.

 

Amongst the proposed amendments to the NIPC 2010 Bill is to change the name of the board from NIPC to National Incomes and Pricing Board which consists of a chairperson who should be an economist, two members from the business community one from the labour organisations, one member from the consumer watchdog board and one lawyer.