Food firms warned against price hike

UMM AL QUWAIN — The Ministry of Economy, in a recent circular, warned all consumer goods outlets and food production companies against increasing the prices of commodities, according to official sources with the Economic Department in Umm Al Quwain.

By Mohsen Rashid (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Wed 9 Jan 2008, 8:54 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:47 PM

Nationals and residents here fear a hike in the prices of goods, particularly after the cabinet’s approval of a 70 per cent increase in the salaries of all federal government employees, effective from January 2008.

The Ministry of Economy, as well as the Consumer Protection Association, which received many complaints about price hikes, are planning to sue cooperative societies and shopping malls that unjustifiably jack up the prices of goods.

The circular, copies of which were pasted at the entrance of all cooperative societies and shopping malls, warns traders and producers against exploitation, monopolistic practices, or unreasonable increase in prices. Stiff penalties await violators, it said. Consumers are urged to report any violation of the instructions over the hotline 600522225.

Ibrahim Rashed Mesbah, Deputy Director of the Minister’s office in Umm Al Quwain, said that fines were slapped against some 40 outlets in the four days that followed Eid Al Adha for hiking the prices and hoarding some goods.

Of these, 30 violations were registered in one day. The last one was spotted in a grand shopping mall, where two types of eggs were displayed. The price tagged on one of them was less than the price fixed by the ministry to attract more customers while the price of the other type, which was not tagged, proved to be higher than the set prices. The mall was fined for the violation, Mesbah added.

A price mechanism was earlier set after a thorough study and plan, which took into consideration the costs of production and the percentage of profit, Mesbah pointed out.

Meanwhile, the requests of Al Rawabi, Al Maraie, Milko and Al Ain Cows companies to increase prices of dairy products by 10 per cent and those of juices by 17 per cent were under study, Mesbah said. A decision would be taken after the ministry got the report of a survey being undertaken on the market prices of their products at various outlets.

Sajit Avina, manager of LuLu Shopping Mall in Umm Al Quwain, said many companies did not comply with the fixed prices. Prices of nearly 50 per cent of the goods had increased by 17 per cent while those of the rest had seen a 10 per cent increase.

Abdughafur Abdulqader, general manager of LuLu Shopping Malls, said all outlets, big or small, should act in unison against the greedy and violating companies.

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