By Momodou Torp

The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry is warning against a recent increase in the cost of goods, particularly rice.

Some businesses have increased the price of rice from D1150 to D1200 recently, leading the GCCI boss, Alieu Secka to warn against what he calls price hiking.

A number of consumers have condemned this development, which comes despite a zero-tax policy on basic commodities like rice in the country
Mr Secka told The Standard that businesses should be reasonable and affordable to the consumers. “They [business people] should be rational in their pricing,” he said.

One Molamin Jallow, a businessman, said of the issue: “If price of rice is increasing every year, where are we headed especially looking at our living conditions. For a small country like The Gambia, cost of commodities like food should not be an issue.”
According to him, government should take steps against the “so-called free market policy.”
“During the days of Jawara regime, the country was nice and prices of commodities were compared to recent years,” he added.

Kaddy Manneh, a vendor said: “I am a petty vendor at the market selling vegetables. I earn less than the cost of a bag of rice in a month, so, it would be very hard for people like me to afford a bag if prices are increasing yearly despite zero tax imposed on basic commodities.”

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