Thursday, November 22, 2007

Complaints on Price Hikes Prompt Meeting

Wednesday, 03 October 2007
By Adel Al-Malki & Mohannad Sharawi

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has received no less than 2,156 calls from consumers complaining about the price hike in commodities in the last six months despite the establishment of the Department of Consumer Protection.
To follow-up on the issue, Minister of Commerce and Industry Hesham Yamani recently held a meeting with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and importers of vegetable oil, sugar, meat, milk powder and others. Almost all the factors identified in the meeting that caused the price increase are external: low production of agricultural crops on a global scale, the increased demand and purchase of products by China, India, Iran and other European and Asian countries, the Dollar-Riyal exchange rate, high oil price that pushed import and export cost, and inflation.
Ahmad Al-Ghamdi, the director of Media Department in JCCI, emphasized, however, that the prices of commodities in the Kingdom are still competitive with neighboring countries.
The authorities pledged to continue monitoring prices and to find solutions to prevent more escalations.
The Shoura Council in the last six months has received more than 40 questions on the high prices of food items, construction and real state.

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