Muscat: The Department of the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) in the city of Saham has unearthed an unethical practice by traders in the area to push basmati rice prices higher, according to a press release by the Authority.
“We ambushed a rice distribution company and found out that they were changing dates of production, the name and the price of a variety of rice that were marked as variety for distribution at a lower price,” a spokesman for the PACP said.
He added that the company was found repacking this variety of rice in 31,000 different bags under a different brand name that fetches a higher price, thereby benefitting from the price difference which ranged between 4 (Dh38) and 5.5 Omani riyals per bag.
Dr Said Bin Khamis Al Ka’abi, chairman of the PACP, said that the operation unearthed a sad reality of the market where proper monitoring was lacking, thereby making it easier for some people to engage in making quick profit at the cost of ethics of trade.
Abdul Rahman Bin Salim Bin Hamdan Al Qasimi, director of PACP in the North Al Batinah Governorate, said that the Directorate had lately received a lot of complaints about the high price of some basmati rice varieties, in addition to its low quality and that the rise was confined to one particular kind of rice.