Government strives to alleviate impact of price rise on citizens — Shboul

(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Head of the Amman Chamber of Commerce Khalil Haj Tawfik said that the recent increase in demand for imported foodstuffs was not accompanied by an increase in prices, proof that the government tries to ease the burden on citizens.اضافة اعلان

Haj Tawfik told Jordan News that commercial activity so far this year is better than last year, due, in no small measure, to “receipt of salaries and the abolition of restrictive measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic”, and “despite the continued decline in the purchasing power of citizens”.

He stressed that the commercial sector has made great efforts to help the people in recent days and called for concerted efforts to ensure a continuous flow of goods to the Kingdom in order to maintain a safe stock, “in light of the disruption in supply chains, the prevention of some countries from exporting, and the continuation of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, with its repercussions on the grain markets, feed, oil prices, and freight charges”.

Haj Tawfik stressed that retail stores played an important role in increasing the offers in the markets, and “sometimes sold for less than the price cap and less than the basic cost of some materials to help citizens face the recession, and to cope with the intense competition among merchants”.

He also said that the stability of the prices of staples associated mainly with Ramadan should have seen the consumer food basket grow more than the 20 per cent it is witnessing now over last Ramadan, blaming the increase in the prices of some food commodities for the percentage.

According to him, the price of some agricultural produce rose due to limited production, caused by the recent frost wave, but the prices of imported goods stayed the same. He warned against issuing “incorrect information that exploits people’s conditions and tampers with their food security”.

Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Faisal Shboul told Jordan News that the government “took many proactive measures when it sensed a discrepancy in the prices of some commodities, especially in light of the rise in freight wages”, to alleviate the impact of the increase in commodity prices globally.

Among the measures taken, he said, was “reducing customs duties and restructuring them, in addition to eliminating the 4 percent tax on vegetable oils, and reducing taxes on some feed production inputs”.

He added that “regarding the prices of fruits and vegetables, there is an agricultural period during which prices are high, but now the prices are stabilizing again”.

“If you compare the prices of foodstuffs in all countries of the world, you will notice that there has been a rise. We cannot completely cancel the price hike, but we strive to mitigate the impact of this rise on citizens,” Shboul said.

Executive Director of the Consumer Protection Society Maher Al-Hajjat told Jordan News, however, that “food prices are high and constantly rising; for example, the price of minced meat increased by 100 percent, while the price of a kilo of Romanian meat increased between JD0.5 to JD1”, adding that the prices of some vegetables “were high and remained so”.

He added that “some kinds of rice also witnessed a price increase, and at the same time, the size of the packages was reduced”.

Hajjat believes that prices will remain as they are during the coming period, adding that “we were expecting that prices might decrease during the second half of Ramadan, but it seems that this will not happen”.

“Traders have sufficient stocks of foodstuffs in warehouses, and they have purchased these materials before the global rise in commodity prices occurred. In this case, there is no justification for some traders to say that the rise in commodity prices is caused by the global rise,” he stressed.

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