Coronavirus in UAE: Ajman outlets hike prices of essential items online
The unholy practice has been detected as many consumers are strictly confined to their homes and prefer to get items ordered online.
Published: Tue 31 Mar 2020, 5:00 PM
Last updated: Tue 31 Mar 2020, 9:13 PM
A number of hypermarkets and popular commercial outlets have raised the prices of essential commodities on their e-shopping sites as compared to the cost quoted in their stores.
The unholy practice has been detected as many consumers are strictly confined to their homes and prefer to get items ordered online and delivered at their doorsteps.
According to a report filed by specialised field teams of the Statistics and Competitiveness Center in the Emirate of Ajman, many hypermarkets and commercial outlets have made shopping of essential items online costly, as they cash in on the current situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak and try to escape being monitored.
An official at the center, said that the specialised field teams detected the rise in essential commodity prices by collecting data from the commercial centers and hypermarkets, and compared them in order to prepare price indices.
He added that the teams noticed that there was a wide gap in the price mentioned by these outlets on their e-shopping sites and in their stores.
This practice will not exempt them from the violations, he warned, adding that these outlets could face hefty fines and closure.
The official stressed that the directives of Ajman government made it clear not to take advantage of the pandemic crisis, and desist from manipulating commodity prices.
He urged residents to call 80070 to report any complaints related to price hikes in e-shopping sites or in stores.
According to an official at Ajman Economic Department, inspections have been intensified round-the-clock to ensure shops do not exploit the current situation to make profit.
He added that during the inspections, many shops have been shut down and some were fined. Many commercial outlets and shops have been found hiking the prices of the products in demand on their e-shopping sites to get away from inspection and violation thinking that they would not be monitored, he pointed out.
Ahmed Khair Al Blooshi, director of the department of control and consumer protection, said that it will continue its inspections and take all measures necessary to combat the exploitation of the current situation by traders who hike prices online.
The DED carried out 1,890 inspection campaigns in different regions of the emirate of Ajman, as part of the precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. The campaigns involved more than 20 operations and resulted in violation against 90 non-compliant establishments.