Rationing to begin in Venezuelan state

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Food rationing is beginning in Venezuela’s second most populous state next week for 20 products subject to price controls.

How it will work is being determined. Also unclear is whether it could extend to the rest of Venezuela.

Zulia state chief of staff Blagdimir Labrador says computer chip cards will be used beginning next week to track and limit consumer purchases of products including rice, chicken, flour, cooking oil, sugar, powdered milk and toilet paper.

Sixty-five supermarkets will participate in the state bordering Colombia.

Venezuela’s annual inflation was 29.4 percent in April, and a shortage of dollars widely blamed on currency controls has prompted to Venezuela’s worst food shortages in at least four years.

More than 100 products are subject to price controls, but government-set prices are regularly ignored.

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