tendai biti 26-11-10.jpgFinance Minister Tendai Biti has mulled the lifting of duty on imported processed products as a way to protect consumers from some unscrupulous business people who have already started increasing prices of such commodities.

Responding to some issues raised by Senators in the Upper House of Assembly during a debate on the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review, Mr. Biti said government could employ tough measures to protect consumers from business people who have decided to profiteer using the reintroduction of duty on processed foodstuffs as an excuse.

“Business people should understand that running a business you need time. They should know that the reintroduction of duty is a mere Statutory Instrument which is not an Act of Parliament that can be lifted at any time…,” said Mr. Biti.

Some errant business people had already increased prices of basic commodities with a two litre bottle of cooking oil being raised to an average of US$4.50 up from the region of US$3.50 soon after the announcement of the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review.

Earlier, some Senators had accused the Minister of failing to address issues on agriculture and the ripple effects of illegal sanctions in his fiscal policy review.

Meanwhile, the Mid-Term Policy review now awaits the Presidential endorsement after sailing through Senate.