Erdoğan vows sanctions against defiance of new measures to curb inflation

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday vowed  heavy penalties over non-compliance with new government measures to curb soaring inflation.

The government has assembled “inspection teams,’’ which are ready to “impose severe penal sanctions on those violating the steps we have taken,’’ Milli Gazete cited the Turkish leader as telling reporters in Istanbul before departing for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Turkish president on Saturday announced a reduction in value-added tax (VAT) of staple food products from eight to one percent in a bid to ease the burden of citizens who are struggling with the country’s highest inflation rate in almost two-decades. Erdoğan called on companies to lower their prices to reflect the change starting Monday.

Grocery stores and supermarkets in the country are expected to cut the prices of the designated products, including white and red meat, beans, lentils, chickpeas, and baby food, according to the new regulation.

Relevant ministries will regularly carry out audits to ensure compliance, Erdoğan said on Monday.

Consumer prices rose by 48.69 percent annually, according to official data for January and Erdoğan’s government has pledged to safeguard households against soaring prices.

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