Drop in prices in Ramadan reflects success of Qatar’s consumer protection initiatives: Ministry
Tribune News Network
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) said on Wednesday that decrease in consumer price index especially the decline in food and beverage prices during Ramadan reflected the success of its initiatives to ease some of the burden off consumers and protect them from unjustified price increases in consumer goods.
Citing the data of the consumer price index (CPI) issued by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) during Ramadan period between April 23 and May 24, the ministry said in a report that consumer prices decreased in general, especially the prices of food and beverages.
The CPI clearly showed the changes in consumer goods prices that witnessed a downward trend from March this year, and further decreased during Ramadan, the ministry said.
Out of the 12 groups in the CPI, the food and beverage group is considered one of the most important groups as it constitutes 13.45 percent of total family spending and includes various food goods.
The report pointed out that the decline in basic food prices in May was mainly due to fall in meat group index from 105.65 in March to about 101.97 in May. The index of fish and seafood group decreased from 85.89 to 75.76, the fruit group from 100.86 to 100.75 and the vegetable group from 99.93 to 97.12 during the mentioned period.
During the same period, the cereal group index declined from 101.44 to 96.92, while the group prices for milk, cheese, and eggs decreased from 101.72 to 95.64, and the prices of spices, salt and pickles fell from 101.74 to 100.36.
The ministry affirmed that these data reflect the efforts made during Ramadan through a number of important decisions that fall within the series of Ramadan initiatives taken every year. Among the most prominent initiatives are the joint national initiative between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Municipal and Environment, and Widam Food Company, to promote local production of sheep meat and to subsidise the prices during Ramadan.
The initiative is aimed at ensuring the availability of sheep meat for citizens during Ramadan at reasonable prices, and to control prices, taking into account the balance between supply and demand in the markets.
The ministry also announced the launch of its discounted consumer goods initiative for citizens and residents. The programme covered more than 500 products, and included basic commodities such as flour, sugar, rice, pasta, chicken, oil, milk, and other food and non-food items whose consumption tends to increase during Ramadan.
The ministry launched intensive inspection campaigns to monitor the market.
In parallel, the ministry sought to monitor and update the level of strategic reserves of food and consumer goods, while assessing production and consumption levels as well as the state’s needs.
The ministry also assessed suppliers’ requests for price increases, and prepared a list of goods and services in this regard to determine proposed increase and profit rates in proportion to the purchasing power of consumers.