bitiiiiiiiiii.jpgFinance Minister Tendai Biti has warned local business people against abusing the re-instatement of duty on basic commodities by unfairly increasing prices.

Mr. Biti said government will not hesitate taking appropriate action to protect general consumers if producers do not refrain from unethical and speculative tendencies rather than improving production.

This follows revelations that inflation which was contained below three percent during the second quarter of the year is on an upward trend and had reached 3.3% by July 2011 up from 2.9% in May and June 2011.

Month on Month inflation was 0.3% which is an increase of 0.1% from June levels of 0.2%.

The high July inflation was mainly due to food price increases, some non-food items such as detergents, hotel accommodation and catering services.

The Finance Minister highlighted that this development is worrisome and threatens to reverse the gains made on overall macro-economic stabilisation if not addressed, adding that government will continue to monitor overall price developments, particularly focusing on the impact of duty re-instatement on selected imported basic commodities effected in the Mid-year Fiscal review statement.