Contraband trade crackdown nabs 124 barrels of benzene
In an attempt to more fairly distribute sugar and edible oil to consumers’ homes, the Addis Ababa Trade Bureau will require people to have a new card in order to purchase these items from retail shops. The new green card will have a photo and address of the consumer and will be in operation within two weeks.
Currently, 1.2 million cards have been prepared by the city. Consumers will be allowed to purchase between 2 to five kilos of sugar depending on the size of their family. They will be permitted to purchase between three to five liters of edible oil. Those who rent a house in the city must have the card to buy the products from shops.
Solomon Bekele marketing head of the trade bureau told Capital that the new system will somehow reduce theft of the products which have been sold for many years via government subsidy.
“Each shop will have the details of the people on their who they are allowed to sell sugar and oil to. People are not allowed to buy sugar and edible oil in shops where their name is not registered.
“Two years ago we printed close to one million cards and gave them the consumers to buy the products with the card but the card lacked a photo and specific information about the consumer. As a result many people bought more of the items than they should have so the new card will solve this problem.”
Capital asked how consumers association shops are preparing themselves for the audit which has been ordered by the Vice Mayor of Addis Ababa, Takle Uma.
“Auditing the shops prevents people from taking advantage of the system so we are doing the right thing by conducting this audit.”
Currently 120,000 quintals of sugar and 7.5 million edible oil are distributed people in Addis through 143 consumer associations and over 20,000 retail shops.
In other news, the Trade Bureau confiscated 124 barrels of benzene over the last two weeks as people attempted to move them out of the city and sell them in other parts of the country at a higher price.
The bureau which has been busy controlling the city entrances at the five major entry points has warned fuel stations to avoid illegal activities.
Kashahun Beyene, Trade Inspection Head at the Bureau told Capital that fuel has been in short supply because of contraband trade.
“Now things are looking better but over the past two weeks there were a lot of problems.” According to license registration 2015 article 8 trading in unlicensed products results in a fine from 10,000 to 30,000 birr and up to three years imprisonment.
Currently close to 140 fuel stations opperate in Addis Ababa.