Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is urging the government to take immediate steps to allow food importers sufficient foreign exchange to prevent a possible increase in food prices.
In a statement on Saturday, she said citizens continue to complain about increases in the prices of basic food items at the supermarket while the government was not doing anything to alleviate the burden, particularly on the poor.
Persad-Bissessar recalled that under her administration in an effort to keep food prices manageable over 6,000 items were made VAT free.
In contrast, she said the government had reduced VAT from 15 per cent to 12.5 per cent, but reduced the number of items that were once exempted.
She said the country was yet to see any benefits from the proposed $500 million stimulus investment into agriculture aimed at boosting food security.
She called on the government to expand the list of food items to be exempt from VAT and develop the domestic food production to avoid a possible food crisis.