Cyprus Mail

Contentious e-basket bill discussed in parliament

free close up inside pieces of bread image, public domain food c

Discussions over the contentious e-basket bill began at the House commerce committee on Tuesday, with MPs slamming the government for “turning a blind eye” to the rising problems society faces.

Disy MP Kyriacos Hadjiyiannis said the state was operating under the assumption that if the e-basket passes into law, this will be a magical solution for people with low income.

The government “continues to see everything as a problem of profiteering and not as a problem of price increases or anti-inflation policy.”

Akel’s Costa Costa kept a more neutral stance, saying the party supported any effort that could bring the benefits of consumers front and centre.

“We want consumers to have a choice, in such a way that small businesses are not hurt however.”

Diko MP Chrisis Pantelides said they supported the e-basket and that it would contribute to healthy competition

The e-basket, if it goes ahead, will be a digital platform that would list prices of 300 consumer goods in different supermarkets. The idea is that immediate price information will help people find the best deals on goods, with an emphasis on food, baby items and household products.

On Monday, the supermarkets association called the government’s plans for an e-basket of goods a “blunt and brute force” interference in the market while the consumer protection service heralded its potential benefits.

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