Posted on October 25, 2014

The Ministry of Economy and Commerce has ruled out the possibility of unifying prices of commodities in the local market, saying price variations are not something unusual, said The Peninsula.

Responding to a recent report in Al Sharq on complaints about high prices of commodities in Sidra outlets at Woqod petrol stations, the ministry said: “It is natural that the prices vary from one shop to another depending on their operation cost.” The ministry, however, said it has made it mandatory for all shops to display the prices prominently for information of the public. The ministry also publishes a comparative weekly price list of food and non-food items in leading hypermarkets to raise public awareness and encourage competition in the market. The Ministry said it is strictly monitoring the market and is responsive to complaints from the public.

Meanwhile, several citizens responding to a survey conducted by another local Arabic daily have called on the Ministry to “name and shame” outlets that resort to commercial fraud and cheat customers. The call came in the context of a recent incident in which a car dealer was caught selling used cars as brand new ones. The ministry which publicized this serious violation fell short of announcing the name of the erring dealer. Several citizens felt that announcing the names would deter the outlets from repeating the violation and help customers identify fraudsters in the market.

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The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning recently took a decision to publicise the names of the erring outlets, especially the eateries, through its website. A list of outlets that have been closed for various violations is currently available at its website and this list has been regularly updated. The name and location of the facility and the type of the violation have been mentioned in the list.