Bosnian Serb Govt To Control Price of Staples

resizer39The government of the Serb-dominated Bosnian entity of Republika Srpska will put the prices of all basic products and key services under its control, its Premier Milorad Dodik said at the weekend.

During his visit to northeastern town of Bijeljina over the weekend, Milorad Dodik said that despite the general slump in prices of all food and fuel products on global markets, prices in Republika Srpska have remained at levels similar to those from few months ago when prices of grain, rise, soybeans, crude oil and other key goods were skyrocketing.

“The government will limit profit margins in the prices of basic goods, such as bread, cooking oil, sugar, flour,” Dodik said. “We will try to do this through inspections’ supervision.”

In September 2008, the Republika Srpska government ordered all firms on its territory – including small shops, wholesales and importers – to reduce profit margins to 8 percent. Previously, profit margins were formed freely across Bosnia and Herzegovina and they varied between 15 and 20 percent for most food and agricultural products, although some importers and wholesalers used margins in excess of 300 percent for chemical products and pesticides imported from abroad.

Prices across the country remained high, similar to the levels from the third quarter of 2008. Consumers’ associations have already demanded from governments in both Republika Srpska and the other Bosnian entity, the Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim)-Croat federation, to put these prices under control and prevent firms from reaping extra profit.

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