Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry wish Government will fast-track Diabetic Foodstuffs

Barbadians have been awaiting a revised basket of goods since February 2011, where have negotiations evolved? We asked President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry Lalu Vaswani (who took over from Immediate Past President, Andy Armstrong, who spearheaded negotiations in what is almost a year ago) and Mr Vaswani indicated he’d like to see a speeding up of the process not just for the average consumer but those with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) like Diabetes or Hypertension where specialised products or general items like salads’ ingredients are priced from the reach of the average Barbadian.

{FILE IMAGE} Lalu Vaswani, President of the BCCI, headquartered at Deighton Road near Dalkeith

The BCCI President also noted how meetings between the Chamber’s Food Committee and the personnel of the Commerce Ministry where both sides are extracting every detail in hammering out an accord, then makes the finalised list of goods which would be reduced or zero-rated from Value Added Tax (VAT) for an exorbitant procedure.

In November 2010, Finance Minister Chris Sinckler raised VAT from 15 to 17.5% – a move many Barbadians accuse merchants of seeking an excuse to raise costs to many consumer goods, this simultaneous with a fluctuating price on Fuel in Petrol, Diesel & Kerosene making it harder for the average Barbadian to feed themselves far less their own family…

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