Officials in Tajikistan have resorted to price controls in an effort to halt a drastic increase in food costs. But inflation’s upward spiral shows no sign of slowing in the Central Asian nation.
Attempting to set an example that might intimidate others into complying with government cost caps, authorities recently arrested 10 butchers in Dushanbe for price gouging. But the mass arrests do not appear to be having the desired effect. Cedric Charpentier, who works with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), noted that a strict administrative response to severe inflation often encourages hoarding and stimulates black market activity.
“You can’t tell traders to sell at a subsidized price without a subsidy,” Charpentier told EurasiaNet.org.
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