Zimbabwean authorities have temporarily lifted an import ban on basic commodities that have been in short supply in recent months due to panic buying and widespread cash shortages, reports say. Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said this week that the continued price increases in the country were making it difficult for many people to afford buying groceries, reported the state-owned Herald newspaper. Mutsvangwa said products that used to be sold within a month were now lasting a few hours due to panic buying. She said that cabinet had since resolved that a law that was introduced by ex-president Robert Mugabe's regime be temporarily amended to pave way for businesses and ordinary citizen to import goods. Wage pressure Some of the commodities that would be imported included animal oils and fats (lard, tallow and dripping) baked beans, body creams, bottled water, cement, cereals, cheese, coffee cream, cooking oil, crude soya bean oil, fertiliser, finishing steel roofing sheets, wheat flour and ice cream. According to Daily News, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said the move was taken to bring down sharp prices and ensuring availability of goods. Ncube said businesses were to blame for the lifting of the import ban because of how they had conducted themselves over the past weeks. "The issue of protecting industry, which is an infant industry argument, would also help if this same industry could also ensure prices don’t escalate the way they have done. We care about jobs but at the moment you will agree with me that the issue of price increase is what we want to deal with right now as we approach festive season, to make sure that there is enough supply of basic commodities at reasonable prices and that there is no wage pressure," Ncube was quoted as saying.* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTERFOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook.