The Government of Liberia (GOL) through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has announced new transportation fares and called on the public to help with its enforcement.
The Commerce Ministry's move comes at a time when drivers of commercial vehicles are requesting sky-rocketing fares since the Liberia National Police and the Ministry of Justice had reduced the number traveling in a vehicle due to the deadly Ebola virus.
Announcing the new transportation fares at a news conference during the weekend, Commerce and Industry Minister, Axel Addy, said the Liberia National Police (LNP), the Federation of Road Transportation Union of Liberia (FRTUL) And the Ministry of Transport participated in the structuring of the new transport fares.
Minister Addy said at a time when the country is seriously combating the deadly Ebola virus which has both health and economic implications, the government intends to ensure that there is no price hiking.
According to the new transport fares listing the previous price for gasoline was L$290.00 and now L$ 360.00 while transport fares has been increased by L$5.00 for short distance in the city and L$ 10.00 to L$ 20.00 increase for far distances (See new transport fares Inside).
He said as the LNP is enforcing the decongestion of transport vehicles, it will also have to enforce the new transportation fares for the benefit of all.
In a related development the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said based on public outcry as it relates to the sharp increase in the price of major commodities including those to prevent the deadly Ebola virus , it has constituted inspection teams with the help of the LNP and the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA).
The Ministry said the teams will vigorously inspect all businesses and monitor prices on the Liberian market.
The Ministry of Commerce named areas of focus during the inspection as building materials sector, used clothing and readymade garments sector, frozen food, cold storage sector; food stuff and Provision sector; Stationery and House Material Sector; Electrical Electronic Sector, Motels, Hotels and Bars as well as Water industry sectors.
According to an inspection report, during the inspection exercise, there were 112 businesses inspected for the period of one week. The report said among the total businesses inspected 17 were found in violation of the Ministry's commercial regulations.
Businesses caught in violation are GECCO, Sethi Brothers, Laxmi Trading, M.A.B. Business Center, J. Mathew Barney Business Center, RITCO, Aicla Children and Sonfo Trading Center. Others are Venen Enterprise # one, Mariam Dolley, O.K Plast AISHA CHILDREN, LBB Store, Best 5 and ROYAL.