UAE liberalises trade to curb rise in food prices

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UAE liberalises trade to curb rise in food prices

DUBAI — The UAE Cabinet on Sunday decided to liberalise the trade of 12 essential commodities in a move to end ‘monopoly and exploitation’ and arrest soaring food prices.

By Issac John (With inputs from Wam)

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Published: Mon 23 Jan 2012, 12:34 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 4:48 PM

The cabinet meeting, chaired by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took the crucial decision in accordance with a memorandum submitted to it by the Ministry of Economy.

The move, which will have far-reaching positive impact on bringing down living costs, is aimed at curbing ‘unjustified soaring prices’ of some commodities, boost principle of competition in the local markets, combat all types of monopoly and exploitation. The import liberalisation move will cover all types of beverages, dairy products, livestock and edible oils.

Welcoming the decision, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy, said the move to liberalise the trade of 12 essential commodities would contribute to market stability and further enhance customer rights. “The 12 items that are being liberalised include livestock and dairy products, fats and oils, honey, eggs, fruit juices, salt, yeast, animal feed, detergents and hygiene products, among others.”

Al Mansouri said the move would further strengthen the competitiveness of the UAE economy by curbing monopoly practices and ensuring the timely supply of goods and services for consumers on a regular basis without any unjustified price rise.

He added that dealing with the increase in price of essential commodities is a top priority for the ministry. “We will work in cooperation with various retail outlets to launch initiatives that will help reduce prices. We have received suggestions for reducing prices of about 1,000 items this year,” the minister said. He added that an electronic system is leveraged to monitor price movements to ensure stability by monitoring the commodity market trends regionally and globally, apart from providing timely information on all related aspects to take timely and appropriate decisions.

The cabinet also approved a federal draft law on the notary public.

The move comes within the framework of the government’s strategy to update its legislatives to match the growth and development requirements

of the community with regard to the issuance of contracts and authentication.

The new law aims at streamlining work of notary public and also includes creation of private notary public in accordance with the conditions therein the draft law.

While chairing the cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, Shaikh Mohammed said the new governmental legislatives and laws submitted to the Council of Ministers should keep pace with the development of the UAE community to boost growth, preserve rights and establish confidence in the legal, economic and social systems.

The cabinet also approved follow-up procedures for a number of agreements signed recently between the UAE and other countries. These include, among others, an agreement between the UAE and Switzerland on avoiding of double taxation on income tax, the Arab Anti-Corruption Agreement, the Arab Draft Law on Anti-Transnational Border Organised Crime, the Arab Agreement on Transfer of Inmates of Penal and Correctional Institutions.

The cabinet also endorsed an economic cooperation agreement between the UAE and Montenegro and an agreement between the UAE and India on “Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters”.

It also approved the budget of the National Media Council and the Federal Customs Authority for the fiscal year 2012.

The cabinet gave the go-ahead to the Union Railway Company to borrow Dh4.7 billion from banks and international corporations to finance the Shah-Habshan-Ruwais Railway project.

The rail network, which will cover 1,200km across the UAE, is estimated to cost around $11 billion, and is being built in three stages.

In October, a contract worth Dh3.3 billion was awarded to an Italian-UAE joint venture to design, procure and construct the first stage’s infrastructure.

The first stage of the rail network will link the western region cities of Habshan and Ruwais by 2013 and join Shah and Habshan by 2014.

Phase two of the project will connect Abu Dhabi to Jebel Ali in Dubai while the third phase will connect the northern emirates.

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