Venezuela is about to start fingerprinting citizens to control how much food they can buy when they shop for groceries. The country has been suffering from food shortages for over a year. Shoppers (buyers) have for a year tried to find basic goods including cooking oil, Powdered milk and corn flour as well as detergent, shampoo and diapers. This problem has become worse because people buy too much of something when they see it in the stores. It’s a kind of panic buying.
President Nicolas Maduro has started a new system to stop people from making repeat trips (visits) to the supermarket and buying too much of any single product (item; thing). The President, calling the system “an anti-fraud* system”, was sure it will stop black marketeers, who buy a lot of one product and then re-sell it at black market for four times more than the original price. The new system requires (makes necessary for) shoppers to scan their fingerprints when they buy food at grocery stores and supermarkets. This is to make sure that more people can buy an equal share of food and groceries. Mr Maduro has not said when the system will go into place, although people close to him say it could be some time around December or January. It is also unclear how much food people can buy and what happens if they buy too much.
There are many reasons for Venezuela’s food shortages. The government blames (to say someone is responsible for something bad) smugglers who buy cheap goods and take them to Colombia. The biggest factor, however, is that the government controls the price of food. Many food companies say the price is too low for them to make a profit, so they do not produce as much as they could. A final reason is the strength (power) of the US dollar against Venezuela’s currency. This means it is very expensive to import food from other countries. Critics say the fingerprinting takes away people’s privacy and will not work. They say the whole economy needs to change and that the government needs to have less control.
* fraud is the crime of getting money from people buy tricking them; Anti= against or opposite to something; Anti-fraud system is a system that is designed to prevents people from tricking others.