Trade Minister: Price inspections will carry on

Officials will conduct inspections at businesses to check prices after a government decision to reduce the value-added tax (VAT) on several consumer products, Trade Minister Mehmet Muş has said.

The VAT tax cuts will come into effect as of April 1.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced earlier this week following a cabinet meeting that the government decided to slash the value-added tax on mostly necessaries, such as hygiene products, toilet papers and baby diapers.

“We are launching necessary work to make sure that the VAT cut yields the targeted results. As soon as the new VAT regulation takes effect, officials will launch inspections in the country’s 81 provinces,” Muş wrote on Twitter, reminding the VAT rate on necessities has been lowered from 18 to 8 percent.

The minister warned that the businesses that do not make the necessary arrangements in line with the tax reduction and those who increase prices unfairly would face harsh punishments.

When the VAT on staple foods was cut from 8 to 1 percent in February, officials also conducted inspections at supermarkets to check prices.
People from the retail industry say that the effect of the VAT cut may be seen in the next two weeks.

The government has been lowering the VAT as part of its efforts to fight against inflation. It also lowered the VAT from 18 to 8 percent for electricity used in residences and agricultural irrigation.

Consumer prices increased by 4.8 percent in February from January. The annual consumer price inflation advanced to 54.4 percent last month from 48.7 percent in the previous month.