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Standing Committee criticizes MoF over souring inflation

The Budget and Finance Standing Committee of the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) lambasted the Ministry of Finance (MoF), over its handling of inflation and soring living costs, which they say has affected citizens across the country.

While listening to a report on Wednesday from the Ministry of Finance and state organizations it oversees, the Budget and Finance Standing Committee of the House expressed that the country’s skyrocketing cost of living is worsening and extending beyond Addis Ababa.

MPS stressed on the situation outside Addis Ababa, which has become unbearable, pointing to the fact that recently, the surging inflation “has never shown any sign of improvement.”

According to the standing committee, the rising inflation is negatively impacting citizens and the country’s economy at large.

The Minister for Finance, Ahmed Shide, on his part cited the country’s inflation rate for food items was at 15.6 percent in September as per the announcement of the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) while the rate for other commodities is 13.6 percent. 

He further indicated that implementing fiscal policies is a priority area of plan of action so as to “stabilize prices.”  Structural reforms in agencies accountable to the Ministry and transferring state-owned “development” agencies to the private sector (privatization) are the areas where the government is working on “carefully,” the Minister added.

The Government’s strategy in place to control soaring food prices, which has become unbearable for millions of citizens, is to “purchase 400 metric tons of wheat from abroad.

Deputy chair of Budget and Finance Standing committee, Nafekush Dessie, has acknowledged the Ministry’s coordination with the relevant departments to decrease the inflation rate, during the first quarter of the fiscal year. However, she did not conceal that there is a limitation on the part of the finance department, in terms of the search for a durable solution, for the rising price inflation.

Ethiopia’s inflation rate for consumer goods has hit 15 percent back in September 2019. Back then, the Ethiopian government admitted that illegal trade practices, hoarding and the like, has exasperated the rising inflation even further.