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Mixed Public Reactions on Escalating Prices

Apr 16, 2009, 6:06 AM | Article By: Alieu Jabang

It is evident that there have been mixed reactions as to current state of escalation of prices of basic commodities in the country, a situation that makes one sits up with profound concern.

The issue, according to recent reports, has implications for majority of the citizens, especially those receiving a minimum monthly salary.

This paper went out and about to hear from people concerning their views on the current market standards and prices of essential commodities in the country.

Many businesspeople whom we spoke to called for reduction of tariff duties on goods. They said high tariffs and taxes are responsible of the recent hike in prices of commodities.

Some people have also acknowledged the difficulties that they are facing, regarding the prices of the necessities of life.

In the view of Lamin S. Darboe, former Chief of Kombo South, said many people if not all depend on rice as the staple food in The Gambia, hence having it that high price is difficult to afford. He maintained that fuel is used every day, especially those who depend on it as a source of energy for light.

"We in the rural areas use generators for energy to watch out televisions, films as well as to charge our mobile phones.

"So if the price of fuel is so high, some will not be able to afford it and eventually cannot have access to the mentioned facilities.

In her opinion, government must not be blamed for the increase of prices on commodities. "We have nothing to blame the government for. It is the people themselves who sell and buy the same commodities," she said.

"The government has the power to decide and enforce. So why can't they react to this frustrating situation and save each and every Gambian from this terrible situation? They should make subsidies for tax payers especially those in business and impose it on them to reduce prices," said one Alfusainey Manneh of Tallinding market.

This, he added, if done will see a drastic reduction in the prices of basic commodities.

One Binta Njie of Bakau market said the people have themselves to blame for the increase in the prices of commodities. "I believe the answer to the current increase in the prices of commodities is simple. We only have ourselves to blame. We grow rice, tomatoes, garden eggs among others here in The Gambia and yet their prices are expensive," she said, adding that unless we are committed and ready to work hard, life will be difficult for each and everyone.