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Toilet Paper Shortage In Venezuela To End After Lawmakers Back Plans To Import 39 Million Rolls

22/05/2013 12:45 BST | Updated 22/07/2013 10:12 BST
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A chronic shortage of toilet paper in Venezuela is to end after the country's National Assembly backed plans to import 39 million rolls.

Lawmakers voted to approve a $79m credit which will also go towards the purchase of toothpaste and soap, the BBC reports.

"Even at my age, I've never seen this," 70-year-old Maria Rojas told the Associated Press last week.

She added she had been looking for toilet paper for two weeks before finally finding some in a supermarket in Downtown Caracas.

The Guardian reports that Venezuela's shortages - which include milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal - stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government's controls on foreign currency.

The controls were imposed in 2003 by late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer in March.

Venezuelans suffer from sporadic power outages, inflation - which topped 20 percent last year - and a public debt of $150 billion, or half the gross domestic product of the country of 29 million, AFP reports.