Stiffer fines for increasing prices

ABU DHABI - The Ministry of Economy’s Consumer Protection Department will impose more stringent penalties, including stiffer fines and even closure, on supermarket chains as well other shops that increase prices and do not maintain the health and hygiene standards during the holy month of Ramadan.

By Anwar Ahmad

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Published: Thu 28 Aug 2008, 1:17 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:11 PM

The fines range from Dh1,000 to Dh10,000 during the period.

In a bid to ensure the stability in prices of vegetables and fruits and their availability in the market during Ramadan, the ministry launched a month-long inspection campaign in the emirate on Tuesday, starting with the Mina Vegetable and Fruits Market here.

Director of the Consumer Protection Department Dr Hashim Al Nuwaimi joined other officials and inspectors in the inspection of the market.

The department is planning to inspect a number of hypermarkets and supermarkets, including big chains of Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society, Emke Groups' Lulu shopping centres, Carrefour and Emirates General Market, in the capital in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Municipality during Ramadan.

Al Nuwaimi told Khaleej Times: “We have launched the campaign to ensure good and healthy commodities for consumers ahead of Ramadan. We advise the shops to display the prices in bold letters so that consumers can easily make their choices.

“Sometimes, shopkeepers conceal the price tag and charge consumers according to their whim.”

On Tuesday, the inspectors fined some shops that did not display the price tags on products. “We matched the prices with those on the invoices and we have not found any increase in the prices,” Al Nuwaimi.

He said consumers need not worry as the inspectors would patrol the markets round the clock during Ramadan.

The shops that fail to display the price tags on the products will be warned first. If they fail to obey the orders the second time, they would be fined Dh1,000 to Dh10,000 depending on the kind of violation. If a particular shop is found repeating the violation, it might be closed down.

Al Nuwaimi said several shops were warned for not displaying the price tags properly on the products during Tuesday's inspections.

Officials asked some shops to stick new price tags on some products as the old ones were not legible.

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