Reining in the prices: UAE paper

WAM Abu Dhabi: A UAE paper has lauded efforts of the Ministry of Economy in curbing speculative and price-rigging practices, describing them as benchmark for retailers in setting the price of their products.

“The UAE Ministry of Economy has initiated efforts to ensure that the prices of essential commodities are not inflated during the holy month of Ramadan. Retailers have been warned of harsh penalties if they resort to any price manipulation, especially during Ramadan, when there is stronger demand for essential goods,” Khaleej Times commented in its today’s editorial.

The paper said that food price inflation is one of the serious concerns globally. Most nations tend to attribute the rise in price of food commodities to a variety of factors including increasing fuel prices, failed crops due to seasonal vagaries, logistical issues and warehousing problems.

“For the UAE, which depends to a large extent on food grain imports, the risk of third party suppliers inflating their prices, especially during a peak season such as Ramadan, is real and must be addressed at source,” the paper pointed out.

Reining in the price of essential commodities, especially food, demands the concerted and committed efforts of all stakeholders. While it is important to uphold the fundamentals of doing business and enabling the entrepreneurial community to conduct trade in a fair environment, the conducive environment for growth provided by the UAE must not be misused or misinterpreted. This is the clear message that the Ministry of Economy and various Economic Departments convey to the retailers. On the part of the public, they must also be equally vigilant to unfair practices. The Ministry has set up enough mechanisms to report any instances of hording or unethical trade. The public must take the bold step to report their misgivings for the larger good of the community, the paper elaborated.

“The Holy Month of Ramadan is marked by the spirit of charity, solidarity, brotherhood and camaraderie. As beneficiaries of public trust, and deriving their growth impetus from the consumer spending, it is the responsibility of the retailer community to adhere to best practices during Ramadan and ensure the timely distribution of essential commodities without compromising on their quality and providing them at affordable rates,” KT concluded.