UAE | General

Price fixed for 1,600 food items until end of year

Some 1,600 food items are to be sold at fixed prices at 340 outlets across the country until the end of 2012, a Ministry of Economy official announced

  • By Noorhan Barakat, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 July 18, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
  • Shoppers at a retail outlet in Abu Dhabi. Ramadan food baskets will be available at retail outlets across the country.

Dubai: Some 1,600 food items are to be sold at fixed prices at 340 outlets across the country until the end of 2012, a Ministry of Economy official announced.

Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, Director of the Consumer Protection Department, said that the department’s inspection campaign seeks to ensure that there are no violations and that outlets don’t overcharge customers, particularly during the Ramadan period.

Some greedy people exploit people’s increased buying habits and increase the prices of foodstuff

Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, Director of the Consumer Protection Department

He said inspections of late had not led to the imposition of any fines but multiple warnings had been issued.

He said it was easy to fine people, but what really mattered was to ensure compliance. “We do not issue fines for first-time violators, we warn them first and monitor them, if we see that they raise the price again, we fine them; then if it happens a third time, we shut them down and take them to court,” Al Nuaimi said at a press conference at the headquarters of Emirates Cooperative Society yesterday as part of the Ramadan food pricing announcement.

Outlets not abiding by the price list indicated by the Ministry of Economy risk fines of between Dh5,000 to Dh100,000 depending on the type of violation. “Any increase in food prices is illegal, as it is not approved by the government,” Al Nuaimi said.

Inspections

Al Nuaimi said that the consumer protection department has plans and schedules for both announced and surprise inspections. He announced that there will be inspections at vegetable and fruit markets in different emirates over the next week. “Sunday we will be in Abu Dhabi, Tuesday in Dubai and Wednesday in Sharjah. But sometimes we announce that we are visiting a certain place but we go to another.”

“Some greedy people exploit people’s increased buying habits and increase the prices of foodstuff.” Al Nuaimi said urging consumers to report any price increase or violation to the department’s hotline number.

Ramadan food baskets will be available in all retail outlets across the UAE, Al Nuaimi said. The baskets contain essential food items such as rice, sugar, milk, canned foods and cooking oil at discounted prices. “The Ramadan baskets are made so that one basket, which costs between Dh100- Dh200, would be sufficient for a family of five for an entire week, meaning that during the entire month of Ramadan a family of five can cover all its grocery needs with just Dh800,” Al Nuaimi explained.

Supermarkets and co-operative societies have launched special offers and discounts in preparation for Ramadan. For instance Emirates co-operative society has announced a discount campaign on 230 main foodstuffs for the period from July 13 until August 4.

Farid Al Shamandi, general manager of Emirates co-opertaives society, said that most of the items on offer are discounted between 20 to 50 per cent. “After this campaign ends, there are two others. The total amount of support provided or these campaigns is Dh7 million. This campaign is supported by the Ministry of Economy.”

Al Shamandi said the ministry will ensure that the discounted price list is adhered to and there is enough stock of discounted products to meet demand.

Other outlets that have launched discount schemes include, Carrefour, Panda, Lulu and Al Ittihad Union Cooperative Society.

 

Comments (7)

  1. Added 16:49 July 18, 2012

    you can monitoring only the retailer, but whole seller, hike the price.retailer can't do anything, and retailer told that's particular item's is out of stock,, Even whole seller want to watch thoroughly..

    anwarhalwani, deira dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:00 July 18, 2012

    Even I completly agree to Suresh and would request the Health Ministry to impose the fixed rates for standard check ups. It is really hard sometimes to step in to private clinics in particular where they charge huge amounts. As it is the labor class and average earning middle class employees are under tremendous pressure due to inflation and low wages.

    Sai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:01 July 18, 2012

    Is it really fixed? How come when I went to a big store, I paid almost double more than I used to pay? I have noticed this and all my family have noticed the same.

    A friend, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 10:28 July 18, 2012

    Is it possible that the consumer can get a list of these 1600 food items, this will help us check on the actuals while shopping. And it will be easier to report the when we encounter that the shop is charging us more....

    Adil, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:26 July 18, 2012

    I do agree to what suresh said..... clinical charges should have a fixed price..... and simple lab tests cost 200/300....like sugar..cholstrol...any infection tests

    Nimmy Syam, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 10:25 July 18, 2012

    Whether they will viisit local groceries? Its not easy to visit the branded supermarkets other than on weekends where we have time for shopping. Infact we always end up in local groceries and in some places there groceries doest have any competitors and we end in paying almost the double . I wish if theylook into local groceries as well.

    Sumera, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 09:42 July 18, 2012

    It is really a soothing news that Ministry has fixed price on 1600 items. I have a humble request that Health ministry must check and fix the price on the Clinical charges taken by Lab attatched clinics for regular check-ups like Diabetics, LIPID prifile etc. We all know that It should not be that costly and even a small time worker who earns less than Dhs2000/month must be able to bear the cost.....Cant we have A FIXED PRICE ON THIS? bye suresh

    suresh, Dubai, India

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