Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi announced on Friday that the inventory of products outlined in accordance with the Law on Unfair Commercial Practices is now complete, encompassing over 2,500 agriculture and food items. This compilation has been promptly dispatched to the business chambers. Bekteshi anticipates receiving feedback within the coming week to finalize the list, a step crucial for aligning agreements among all stakeholders. This alignment is expected to contribute to reduced prices in the domestic market.

Should prices surge during the six-month transitional period, Minister Bekteshi assured reporters that the Ministry of Economy stands ready to implement specific measures to alleviate such occurrences.

“I have confidence in the corporate-social responsibility of traders, particularly those within large supermarket chains, as the factors that previously impacted prices are no longer present. However, should any instances of abuse be identified, the Ministry of Economy will take remedial actions aimed at benefiting citizens. These may include price freezes, imposing requirements on specific traders, or even the closure of certain supermarket chains, all in accordance with the Law on Trade,” stated Bekteshi.

He anticipates that upon receipt of feedback from all stakeholders, the final list of products will comprise approximately 2,300 items.

Addressing concerns about potential exploitation by supermarkets during the interim period until the Law on Unfair Commercial Practices is enforced, Minister Bekteshi urged food producers not to succumb to pressure from dominant supermarket chains. These chains may seek higher rebates of 15-20 percent and request three-month agreements.

“I cannot individually intervene with every producer and dictate their acceptance or rejection of these terms, as this would constitute interference in their policies and relationships with partners. If this were the case, the state would need to nationalize all production facilities, and ministers would make decisions on their behalf. These are private entities that determine their own policies. My appeal is for them not to be misled by such demands, especially considering the six-month transitional period,” emphasized Bekteshi.

He added that in instances where consumers are exploited, appropriate measures will be taken to safeguard their interests.