Questions have emerged whether the government will be able to pass a bill proposal being discussed from Wednesday for prices on a ‘household basket of goods.’

The ‘household basket,’ which was introduced similarly in Greece, will include a weekly guide on the cheapest essential goods available at supermarket, including milk, rice, pasta, bread, the head of the Cyprus Retail Association Marios Antoniou told the Cyprus Mail.

Regarding on how the law would work, Antoniou said that every Wednesday the cheapest brand of products from each item category would be announced to consumers, who would be able to include the items on their shopping list.

As an example, one week one brand of milk would be given a standardised price across all supermarkets, and the next week another brand would given the standardised price.

According to the energy ministry, discussions on the bill, which will have to be presented in parliament before December 8, began earlier in the day, with various associations and organisations, including the retailers, and will continue Thursday with unions and employers’ groups.

“The intention of the proposed bill is good,” Antoniou said.

But he added that there is already “intense competition” between supermarkets to provide the best prices on products.

Commenting on the proposal, which was previously approved initially by the cabinet, Antoniou questioned if there was time for it to go to parliament for a vote before Christmas, as it will have to be discussed, positions will need to be recorded, then it will have to go to the House committee on commerce, and then go for a vote in plenum.

“It is a pressured timeframe, and I don’t know if they can make it before Christmas,” he said. The House closes on December 8 ahead of Christmas and the presidential elections next February.

There had also been a proposal to adjust prices based on increased energy prices supermarkets pay, but it was rejected.

Asked to comment on whether there will be more of the cheaper goods in the market, Antoniou said it was too early to know, as they would have to see how consumers react.

Once the discussions of the proposal are done, it will go back to cabinet for a final approval before heading to parliament.