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Govt approves six-day flour discount

Published: 
Friday, July 25, 2014

Cabinet yesterday agreed to a 20 per cent reduction in the price of certain National Flour Mills (NFM) flour and oil products to the nation to celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr and Emancipation Day holidays. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced the measure during yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at he St Clair office. She said the measure will take effect from tomorrow and run until Friday.

She said the discount will apply to: 
• Ibis brand All Purpose Flour (2kg and 10kg)
• Hibiscus brand All Purpose Flour (2kg and 10kg)
• Lotus brand of All Purpose, Whole Wheat, Bakers and Cake flour (2kg and 10kg)
• Good N’ Natural® brand of Whole Wheat Flour
• Lotus brand Soya Bean Oil (all sizes—500ml, 900ml, 1.5 L, 3L, 5L and 17.25L)
• Lotus brand rice (all sizes—1kg, 2kg, 4kg and 9Kg)
• Cuisine brand All Purpose Flour 2kg
• Club Select All Purpose Flour 10kg

Persad-Bissessar said NFM would facilitate the initiative on behalf of the Government and noted that the initiative would in no way prejudice the financial performance of NFM, as the Government would reimburse the company in respect of all expenses directly incurred in the process of effecting this initiative. She said the initiative formed part of the temporary stop-gap measure to allow for ease of living, while the Government actively pursue measures to ensure our food security. The PM said a Standing Committee on Food Prices, chaired by Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications Minister Vasant Bharath, who is also Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Economy. She said the committee’s role was to ‘collaborate on issues and define a practical way forward to provide a measure of comfort to consumers.

The Committee comprises representatives from:
• The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications
• Customs and Excise;
• The Food Distributors Association of Trinidad and Tobago;
• The Supermarkets Association of Trinidad and Tobago;
• The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association;
• The Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago;
• The Ministry of Food Production;
• The Consumer Affairs Division and
• The Chemistry, Food and Drug Division

She said the inaugural meeting of this Committee was held last Tuesday. Persad-Bissessar said it was important to note that  the food price inflation rate has been kept at single digits for the first five consecutive months of this year but much still needs to be done. She said that from November 15th 2012, the People’s Partnership Government removed VAT on well over seven thousand items. Persad-Bissessar also reminded that on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th December, 2013, her Government provided a gift to the nation with a reduction on the prices of flour, rice and soya bean oil, just in time for Christmas.