Venezuela’s ANC Passes New Price Control Law

Known as the Constitutional Law of Agreed Prices, the law authorizes regulatory authorities to reach agreements with industry representatives on maximum sale prices for key staples. 

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Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly approved the price control law Tuesday, while President Nicolas Maduro has called on the people to enforce it "in the streets". (VTV)
Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly approved the price control law Tuesday, while President Nicolas Maduro has called on the people to enforce it "in the streets". (VTV)
By Lucas Koerner
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Caracas, November 22, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) passed in second discussion Tuesday a new price law aimed at controlling the country’s soaring inflation.

Known as the Constitutional Law of Agreed Prices, the law authorizes regulatory authorities to reach agreements with industry representatives on maximum sale prices for key staples.

This week, Venezuela’s Superintendence for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights (SUNDDE) published a list of prices for a number of goods, including white rice, coffee, corn, chicken, certain types of fish, pasta, sugar, and toothpaste.

The new prices will go into effect as of this Thursday.

Speaking on Wednesday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro praised the law and called on the people to help enforce it “in the streets”.

“I authorize the people to apply the law throughout the country, with its organized force… I put myself at the front of this fight, but the people must win it in the streets,” he stated. 

The law is based on a proposal for 50 new price controls unveiled by President Maduro in September.

Under Presidents Chavez and Maduro, the Venezuelan government has long maintained a system of price controls aimed at guaranteeing affordable consumer goods for the population.

While the controls were effective during years of high oil prices, critics have accused the government of gradually abandoning the regulations as the country’s severe economic crisis has deepened, allowing prices to be determined by the black market value of the bolivar.

Nonetheless, this time around, the government says it is committed to enforcing the controls.

On Wednesday, SUNDDE officials visited the large Guaicaipuro market in Caracas where, in the company of military personnel, they ordered discounts of ten to thirty percent on a host of products targeted under the new regulations.