Consumer protection urges intensified control of prices

(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The government must set price ceilings for various products, including foodstuffs, said the head of the National Society for Consumer Protection, Muhammad Obeidat, noting various consumer complaints. اضافة اعلان

Price ceilings aim to help adjust local prices in the local market according to global trends, he added.

Obeidat explained that the prices of oil derivatives decreased by 20 percent globally, yet they remained high locally.

Another example he added was dairy products. He cited the Food and Agriculture Organization, which said that dairy products decreased globally. “But they continued to rise in Jordan,” he said.

“Meat prices also decreased globally, but in the local market, the price ceiling remains high and does not commensurate with the purchasing power of the Jordanian consumer,” Obeidat told Jordan News.

He said the drop in prices internationally “should be reflected in the prices of goods locally so that citizens can benefit”.

Obeidat claimed the price difference was due to a lack of specialized studies by concerned authorities, adding that a committee of stakeholders must be formed to study the prices of foodstuffs and “set price ceilings”.

He noted that price variation “is healthy ... provided that the prices are within the range of international prices”.

Yanal Al-Barmawi, the spokesman The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply, said that there are no price changes in the local market. He insisted that the ministry is carrying out “intensive market control campaigns” to ensure that prices remain stable and affordable.

Barmawi said the ministry has taken “several measures” to control prices, including setting a price ceiling for goods such as poultry, vegetables, and vegetable oil.

He explained that the ministry sets prices when it finds increases “unjustified or exaggerated”.

Ali Naji, a local, said he buys household supplies every week. “I noticed that the prices of all products are continuing to rise.”

“Merchants are also deceiving us through the weight and quality of the product,” he said.

Trader Jaber Ismail said that consumers “notice the difference in the weight of the product, and the increased price.”

“This led to a reduced demand for products, as people are searching for cheaper alternatives,” he said.

He maintained that a merchant’s loss is compounded: One caused by the reduced demand, and the other for buying products in the bulk to cover possible losses from the fluctuating prices.

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