Government maps out plan to boost competition in retail market - media

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The Lithuanian government has worked out a plan of measures to end the alleged domination of large chains in the retail market, and ultimately give a boost to small businesses, Delfi.lt reported on Thursday.

Officials would not comment on this plan in more detail, the news website said.

According to it, the measures are yet to be discussed by the government, parliament and responsible authorities.

Delfi quoted its sources as saying that the proposal calls for introducing a state monopoly on alcohol sales, opening state-owned pharmacies at health care institutions and eliminating fees for sellers at state-owned marketplaces in exchange for lower prices.

The proposed measures also include penalties for excessive concentration, and state aid to small and medium-sized businesses.

Reportedly, the plan also calls for lowering retail chains' profitability.

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said last month that his government was considering steps to prevent a further rise in prices for food products and services.

He said that supervisory authorities had to actively monitor the situation on the market.

Skvernelis then said that the government was seeking dialogue with all business groups, but added that if "there is no understanding, dialogue and common solutions, the government will use all the rights and powers given to it by law."

Source: BNS
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