The Venezuelan government set the maximum prices for 27 products in the basic food basket this Thursday, which includes meats, dairy products, cereals, grains and even coffee and milk powder.
The measure was announced at the beginning of the week, when the Government indicated that it negotiated the maximum sale amounts with the producers and traders, since it called these prices “agreed”.
But it was not until today when the prices were announced through a publication on the website of the Ministry for Commerce.
Some products were regulated at prices similar to those that they currently have, such as the case of precooked corn flour – one of the basic products of Venezuelan food – whose presentation of 1 kg was little more than 165,000 bolivars, equivalent to 93 pennies on the dollar.
But others suffered considerable discounts, such as margarine, milk, coffee, and canned goods.
Venezuela, the country with the largest proven oil reserves on the planet, is going through the greatest crisis in its modern history, which has caused the loss of the purchasing power of citizens and a massive emigration.
This price regulation joins the increase in the comprehensive minimum wage and the pensions received by more than 4 million people in the country, according to official figures.
But this minimum wage, set by the Public Administration, is estimated at $ 2.33 per month, which is hardly enough at all, since, for example, a kilo of powdered milk will be sold for just over $ 5 at the current official exchange rate. .
Analysts and producers such as Alimentos Polar, the country’s largest processed food firm, have warned that it is impossible to dictate price controls in the midst of the hyperinflation scenario that Venezuela has been going through for more than two years.
And it is that according to the Parliament, which controls the opposition, the annual inflation of Venezuela reached 3,365 points until last March, while the accumulated so far in 2020 was 145.37%.
Alimentos Polar even warned this week in a statement that the regulation “will again cause the shortage of controlled items (products)”, as it already happened in the South American country between 2016 and 2018.