CARACAS, Venezuela — The government has begun implementing a novel solution to chronic short supplies of basic goods at its supermarkets: fingerprinting shoppers to prevent hoarding.
Starting in September, consumers at six state-run stores must register their fingerprints, which are scanned to keep track of what they buy. The aim is to limit bulk purchases of 23 basic goods, including flour, rice, milk, sugar, toilet paper, coffee, margarine, oil, chicken, meat, shampoo and detergent.
So far, around 800,000 people have registered their fingerprints, and the government plans to expand the program to other stores.
The initial announcement of the fingerprinting scans was greeted by some protests from consumers fed up with an economy wracked by high inflation and shortages stemming in part from currency controls that have deprived importers of dollars they need to pay for foreign goods.