Government mulls imposing higher fines for stockpiling

Government mulls imposing higher fines for stockpiling

Government mulls imposing higher fines for stockpiling

The Turkish government is planning to introduce new regulations to prevent stockpiling in the face of the sharp fluctuations in the prices of goods observed over the past weeks.

The government is expected to send a package, which will include measures regarding the retail sector and privatizations, to parliament after lawmakers complete discussions on the 2022 budget later this week.

The move comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said businesses that stockpile goods may face severe fines.

According to plans under consideration, an article in the existing law on retail sales will be amended to discourage stockpiling and impose higher penalties up to 2 million Turkish Liras (around $141,000).

The respective article in the existing law stipulates that producers, suppliers and retailers cannot engage in activities which disrupt the working of the markets and distort free competition or hinder consumers’ access to goods. The law describes such practices as “stockpiling” and foresees fines between 50,000 liras and 500,000 liras.

Under the new regulations, the authorities now plan to increase fines for large scale stockpiling to between
100,000 liras and 2 million liras while other entities engaging in such practices will be fined between 50,000 liras and 100,000 liras.

Earlier this month, Erdoğan vowed to reign in on price fluctuations and bring prices to a reasonable level.He also said that local prices are increasing partially due to the rising commodity prices globally, but also because of “greed,” and stockpiling.

The president said that legal regulations designed to fight stockpiling will be introduced shortly after parliament finalizes discussions on next year’s budget.

“We will not allow this and we will go after those who engage in such practices.”The new package to be introduced to parliament also includes regulations regarding privatizations of ports, extending the concession period to 49 years from the current 20 years to 30 years.

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