State Trading Organization (STO) has announced that staple food prices will be slashed starting Thursday.
Staple food prices were hiked in 2016, but STO has revealed that the food prices will once again be slashed to the rates before the price hike. Prices were hiked in 2016 after the government discontinued subsidies for staple food.
Speaking at a press conference, STO’s Managing Director, Ahmed Shaheer said that they received a lot of complaints over time due to the hike in prices, and that the government made the decision to slash the prices after taking public complaints and concerns into consideration.
Changes to staple food prices according to the new changes:
In accordance to the new changes, Ministry of Economic Development has set standard rates that could be charged for staple food delivery to the atolls. As such, from Haa Alif, Haa Dhaal and Shaviyani Atoll, staple food delivery can be charged MVR 1.02 per kg, while Noonu Atoll to Thaa Atoll staple food delivery can be charged 0.82 per kg, and Laam Atoll to Addu City staple food delivery can be charged MVR 1.21 per kg.
These rates are the maximum price that can be charged as delivery fees for staple food to the atolls.
“These changes were implemented by President Yameen, following concerns and complaints by the citizens about staple food prices,” Shahir said.
He said that staple foods are highly subsidized, and that the current administration spends nearly MVR 850,000 to subsidize sugar, rice and flour on a daily basis.
Shahir added that staple foods are mostly imported to the Maldives and therefore, are priced after taking international market prices into consideration. He assured that staple food prices will remain the same after the price slash.
Shahir said that staple food prices will be the same for all citizens as there is no targeted subsidy to it.