CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelans soon may need to have their fingerprints scanned before they can buy bread.
President Nicolas Maduro has announced a mandatory grocery fingerprinting system to combat food shortages.
He said late Wednesday the program will stop people from buying too much of a single item, but did not say when it would take effect.
The move was met with skepticism. Critics say the new system is tantamount to rationing, and constitutes a breach of privacy.
The socialist South American country has been grappling with shortages of basics like cooking oil and flour for more than a year. The administration blames the shortages on companies speculating and people smuggling subsidized staples out of the country.
In the spring, Venezuela tried a similar system in government-run supermarkets on a voluntary basis.
(Copyright 2014, The Associated Press, All rights reserved.)