Revised proposal: Price controls on dairy staples
Revised proposal being compiled by committee led by Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry Director General Sharon Kedmi, which is examining food prices, particularly for dairy products.
"Essential" dairy products being sold for unreasonable profits will be brought under government price supervision, states a proposal that will be presented to the cabinet for a vote on Sunday.
This is part of the revised proposal by the committee led by Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry Director General Sharon Kedmi, which is examining food prices, particularly for dairy products.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been scheduled to bring the committee's previous proposal up for a vote last Sunday, but decided against it after he realized most of his ministers objected to it.
The Finance Ministry has strongly objected to expanding price controls to include any new products, but Interior Minister Eli Yishai conditioned his support on this measure.
In another departure from the previous proposal, the new version proposes transferring authority to approve cheese import quotas from the Agriculture Ministry to the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.
It also calls for encouraging small dairies, including new dairies. This had been in the committee's original recommendations, but the ministers involved had removed it.
The committee is also likely to recommend limiting buyouts of small food companies by major food manufacturers.
"In light of the [economic] concentration in the food industry, including suppliers, the lead players should be prevented from buying out more companies in the sector," said a person involved in the committee's deliberations.
The committee is also considering forcing the large supermarket chains to sell off branches, in order to reduce the big supermarkets' market share in certain areas.