Turkish government imposes higher fines for stockpiling amid soaring inflation

The Turkish parliament late Wednesday passed a law increasing fines for stockpiling in the face of the sharp fluctuations in the prices of goods in Turkey as the annual inflation has soared to a 19-year high.

The law envisages imposing higher fines between 100,000 Turkish Liras (around 7,334 U.S. dollars) and 2 million Turkish Liras (around 146, 685 dollars).

The law increases penalties for manufacturers, suppliers and retail businesses who engage in activities that cause disequilibrium in the market, hinder consumers’ access to goods, and distort free competition.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to calm price fluctuations arguing that the prices of goods are rising due to global trends, also because of “greed,” and stockpiling in local markets.

Turkey’s annual inflation topped 36 percent, according to the figures of December.

Due to a slump of the Turkish currency lira, consumer prices increased by 13.58 percent in December alone.

The Turkish lira has lost more than 40 percent of its value last year against the U.S. dollar. ■

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