CARACAS, Monday January 14, 2013 | Update

Restriction in food stocks are an obstacle to cope with emergencies

In the Venezuelan industrial sector goods are kept in stock for a week

Authorities say goods may remain in stock no more than three days (Photo: AVN)
Monday January 14, 2013  11:30 AM

Whenever Venezuela faces food shortage, the Government alerts about alleged hoarding and launches a supervision plan in an attempt to find commodities absent from the market. Anything found in warehouses is seized on the grounds that such staples are being hoarded. 

Hoarding became a crime in 2007 upon the enforcement of an Act, which later became the Law on Defense of People in the Access to Goods and Services (Indepabis Law).

Article 67 of the aforementioned law, defines hoarding as a "restriction in the supply, circulation or distribution of goods, and their retention either in a visible or hidden place for the purpose of bringing about shortage or a rise in price." Article 139 provides that those committing this sort of crime will face prison for a two-six year term.

Said Article does not elaborate on a limited number of commodities or days to declare hoarding so it is up to the authorities' judgment.

Recently, 46 tons of food was seized by the authorities for having being kept in stock for more than one week. The authorities have explained that basic staples shall be in stores in no more than three days.

Consequently, the stocks, particularly those related to basic staples, have run low in the industry and stores, which are unable to prevent shortages and emergencies from taking place in the country. 

In an attempt to avoid food shortage, the Executive Office has pressured and threatened enterprises and business owners so they can guarantee food supply.

Translated by Jhean Cabrera
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