Food Restrictions Start in Venezuela
Two cities in the Zulia state of Venezuela are reported to have systems of food restrictions implemented next week. Due to the economy’s lack of growth in its first fiscal period at only 0.7 percent, the government has implemented computer-operated systems at fuel stations to limit the amount of food products citizens can buy. They are establishing this system in hopes of keeping the nature of price-controlled items low.
The government refuses to call the system a form of rationing because it is only employed to stop smuggling price-controlled items across the border into Columbia. The system is said to be in 65 grocery stores in the Zulia state for items such as rice, flour, chicken, cooking oil, sugar, and powdered milk. The quantities that each family or person are allowed to purchase have not been specified yet.
Andres De Candido, the president of the states supermarket association, said that he did not believe that the system would be registered and ready in all grocers by next week. An economist, Ronald Balza of Andres Bello University said to Associated Press yesterday that he doesn’t see how rationing foodstuffs can address the cause of shortages. He claims that the reason for shortages in Zulia is “…the same as it is in the rest of the country: fixed prices, supply problems, and the preventative purchases that consumers make every time new (higher) prices are coming.”