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Technical Sub-Comittee present report to President Koroma on escalation of prices

Technical Sub-Comittee present report to President Koroma on escalation of prices

The technical sub-committee set up by the President Ernest Bai Koroma on 23rd February 2011 to examine the causative factors for the escalation of prices of essential commodities yesterday presented its report to the President and other members of the main committee on the escalation of prices.

In its report the sub-committee noted that it identified essential commodities and the related cost incurred by importers and the need to reduce the high cost of such essential commodities.

The technical committee noted that the identifiable charges that were likely to affect the high cost of price of commodities include CIF, NRA charges, Port Charges, Shipping Charges, and another related charges.

The committee emphasized  President Ernest Bai Koroma’s concern about the welfare of the ordinary Sierra Leonean  when the special committee noted that special preference must be given to the reduction of prices in the following areas, rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil, onions, tomato paste and baby food.

The recommendations of the technical sub-committee are as follows;

  1. To alleviate pressure on imported rice and to maintain price stability, government  should explore the option of creating a strategic stock of rice to ensure that the national staple is available at all times.
  2. Portage charges by the Sierra Leone Port Authority should be reduced from Le. 1000 per metric tonne to Le 500.
  3. Marine charges should be reduced from $50 to $35 for the first day.
  4. Stay-over charges should be reduced from $7 to $5 for the first day.
  5. Container handling and container inspection fees should be abolished.
  6. Charges should be based on Bill of Lading and not on the number of containers in the Bill of Lading.
  7. The  grace period for the accrual of demurrage should be increased from 5 to 10 days including weekends to reduce the burden on importers of essential commodities.
  8. Clearing and forwarding charges should be maintained.
  9. All INTERTEK fees should be maintained at the prevailing rate until the end of their contract.
  10. Scanning fees should be paid locally to ensure that it is deducted from freight charge. It should also be reduced from $100 to $50 for 40 feet container and from $50 to $30 for 20 feet container.
  11. Cost of storage facilities at shed 3at the port should be maintained at $4000 per annum.
  12. The Bank of Sierra Leone should regulate the commercial banks interest rate with review to not exceeding 14%.
  13. Cost of loading from truck to warehouse should be reduced from Le. 750 per bag to Le. 500 per bag.

The above recommendation, it is hoped, will positively impact on the cost of essential commodities in an effort to create the business environment that would allow the majority of citizens to easily access rice, cooking oil, sugar, flour, onions, tomato paste and baby food.

The recommendations by the committee come into effect immediately as the President will continue to convene meetings of the Special Committee on escalating prices until the prices of essential commodities are stabilised.

Ministry of Information and Communications

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  • Simple school arithmatic.12 months ago $1 = Le3000 and today $1 = Le4500, which already accounts for 50% increases in prices. External factor- all food prices are up by 15-20% in the world market, and this makes up the price increases to 80%.
    We cannot do much about external factors, but can contain our killing inflation by controlling our money supply for inflated Contracts

    5th March 2011

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