Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, has condemned those who have raised the price of items in Dominica in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Speaking at the daily government press briefing on Monday, he described the practice as unfair.
There have been reports that prices of items are being raised on the island by those who wanted to cash in on the disaster.
“It is really unfair people are now increasing the prices in a dramatic way,” he stated. “Where are our consciences?”
Skerrit said the matter cannot be blamed on VAT since presently there is no VAT on items.
“There is no VAT,” he stated. “People used to say the reason prices are high is because of VAT. No VAT, there is no import duty.”
He also stated that he doesn’t like the idea of people saying that the prices of items went up because they were in stock before the hurricane.
“I don’t like the idea of I had that in stock before Hurricane Maria,” he noted. “All of this stuff are going to get mixed up with each other and when they get mixed up with each other, when you look at the average price you will still make a big profit. You can’t tell people you had this stuff before Hurricane Maria and jack up the prices.”
The Prime Minister had a challenge for the private sector who, he stated, likes to talk about transparency.
“The private sector likes to talk about transparency, transparency is the biggest word in the world out there today,” he remarked. “What I am challenging the private sector to do, all of you with hardware and foodstuff and so on, give me two prices, show me two prices, show me the pre-Hurricane Maria price and show me the post-Hurricane Maria price. That is what transparency is about. Transparency doesn’t only reside with the government.”