No respite from rise in prices of food items

ABU DHABI - The prices of essential food items continued their rising trend in Abu Dhabi in June and July, and vigilant authorities managed to bring down the retail price of at least basmati rice which was sold by some supermarkets at a gross high price.

By Haseeb Haider

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Published: Tue 12 Aug 2008, 1:16 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:01 PM

According to the Department of Planning and Economy, Abu Dhabi (DPE), the price of a 5kg of Mubarak basmati rice from Pakistan was Dh42 at Fatima Supermarket in July while the other retail outlets, including Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society, were selling the same for Dh62.

A team from the Consumer Protection Unit contacted FODCO, the main distributor of Mubarak basmati rice, only to discover that the retail price actually was Dh35.6. The team raised the issue with the Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society that immediately reduced the price to Dh42.5.

According to the DPE, the Index of Prices of Basic Food items, which reflects the fluctuations in the prices on a weekly basis, showed a significant surge in June and July. The index closed at 20 in the last week of July, against 17.9 in the first week of June, reflecting the rising trend in the prices.

The DPE rise in the index was attributed to the increase in prices of some basic items like fish.

According to the Consumer Protection Unit, there were no significant difference in fish prices at Lulu Hyper Market and Carrefour while they were high at Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society.

The seafood outlet at Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society has a contractual obligation to pay 10 to 20 per cent profit. The owner of the outlet said the prices of fish were high because he had brought them from Dubai, which involved the cost of ice needed to keep the fish fresh in summer.

The DPE would intensify monitoring of select essential food commodities in the holy month of Ramadan on a weekly basis to check profiteering.

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