Today, a friend called me, the owner of the pharmacy. Almost crying, she says that she previously purchased medicines for several hundred thousand tenge, and recently the order of the Minister of Health on marginal prices was issued, and now my friend is forced to sell many medicines below cost.

For example, she bought a medicine for 1000 tenge, wanted to make a cheat of 200 tenge and sell it for 1 200, and in the order of the minister this medicine is allowed to sell at a maximum of 700 tenge.

– Tell me, how can you do business in such a country? – my friend asks me, – This is not the state, but some kind of robber! Changes the rules of the game when he wants, retroactively! Now even cry, even complain-it’s useless. I’ll make a loss and maybe even close the business. Do you think anyone in this ministry cares about me? Or in the government? They won’t even notice my ruin! For them, I am just an individual in the statistics.

The other woman’s voice breaks. She pauses for a few seconds to contain her excitement.

“Tell me,” she continues, calming down a little, ” you travel a lot to all sorts of countries, Europe, the Americas. Have you ever seen the government set price caps on medicines, food, or anything else?

– Honestly, never heard of this – I admit – Usually if you want to help the poor, then subsidize their address, that is, give an allowance to buy food or medication, but do not force private employers to cut prices.

– That’s it! – my friend shouts happily into the phone, as if I am able and going to do the same in our country, – Why hold back prices for everyone? After all, now both the poor and the rich will buy medicines at a low price. And why help the rich at the expense of sellers? This is stupid! And why would you want to control prices? We have such a competition here: there is a pharmacy on every corner. Are any of us going to inflate prices out of the blue? Of course not. The main thing is that the wholesalers do not conspire, and do not keep the prices. There aren’t many of them. Here they can agree. And we-hundreds of private pharmacies-will never agree.

And so for half an hour this entrepreneur, a typical representative of small and medium-sized businesses, whom the state should help and cherish, cried in my vest. They, the owners of small shops, cafes, hotels, service stations, pharmacies, and so on, make up a large, diverse mass of business that moves the country’s economy. And they are strangled, as if they are parasites on the body of society and enemies.

So who is really our benefactors, and who is the enemy?

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