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Dushanbe Officials Order Food Price Reductions

Vendors at Dushanbe's Korvon Market

Vendors at Dushanbe's Korvon Market

DUSHANBE -- Dushanbe city authorities have instructed shops to decrease the prices of imported foods by 10 percent and domestic food products by 15 percent, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The official request on August 24 was prompted by complaints from locals that food prices have skyrocketed in the past several months.

Nuriddin-aka, a butcher at Dushanbe's Barakat market, told RFE/RL that it is not possible for him to follow the city's order since he buys a kilo of meat for 17 somoni ($3.90) and would lose money on the sale if he lowered his prices.

Jamil, who sells potatoes at the same market, says the wholesale markets should be the ones addressed by the authorities in order to reduce prices.

Dushanbe-based economic reporter Qironshoh Sharifzoda said that ordering a price decrease never works. He said that in order to lower prices, the authorities should increase the quantity by making food available from government reserves and cutting taxes for food importers.