CARACAS, Monday November 11, 2013 | Update
INSPECTIONS | Other sectors will be inspected this week

Nicolás Maduro to set profit margin ceiling for companies

President Nicolás Maduro warned there would be "zero tolerance" for speculators. Upon passage of his requested special ruling powers, regulations will be enforced to punish the overpricing of goods and services

He met with the ministers of the Economy Higher Authority (AVN)
Monday November 11, 2013  08:53 AM
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro reported late on Sunday that he would set minimum and maximum profit margins for all the sectors of the Venezuelan economic production apparatus. He said the move would be made once the National Assembly passes his requested special ruling powers.

In a mandatory radio and television broadcast, Maduro warned there would be "zero tolerance" for speculators. He stressed that he would use the special ruling powers to implement tougher punishments and penalties against speculation.

"I have decided that, once the enabling law is passed, mandatory percentage limits on profit margins will be implemented on all items. There will be minimum and maximum profit margins for everything, in the first place. Secondly, we will also use the enabling law to make adjustments intended to toughen as much as possible the penalties for any businessperson who is sold US dollars of the Republic through the established system (...) and uses the US dollars of the Republic to speculate on the currency, to speculate on products and rob and plunder the people," Maduro admonished.

He criticized the fact that at present speculation is punished with fines and shutdown of stores. "No! That people have to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted. We have to go after the wealth they stole from the people," he said.

In regard to appliance stores, Maduro said that "they all received US dollars from Cadivi (the Foreign Exchange Administration Board). They all mocked the State's confidence. They are outside the law and do not pay taxes. They are increasingly speculating, month after month. This is not usury, this is not mere speculation, this is not normal. This is an economic war," he reiterated.

He reported that the National Foreign Trade Center and the Foreign Trade Corporation of Venezuela would be established on Tuesday. Both bodies are "to change everything. From this center and this corporation, we will launch a global and structural reshuffle of Cadivi, the Ancillary Foreign Currency Administration System (Sicad), Bancoex, the Bank of ALBA and all the mechanisms we have. We are to reorganize, streamline and make transparent all imports; promote exports other than oil and truly balance the management and investment of foreign exchange." Further, the National Logistics and Transport Corporation will be created.

He insisted that there is no reason for shortages. In his view, shortages are not due to economic factors but to political reasons.

He said that this week inspections will be conducted in businesses in the areas of food, footwear, hardware, toys, vehicles, apparel and appliances.

@ alejandramhf

Translated by Maryflor Suárez R.