Industry Ministry ‘recorded 5,500 commercial violations’ this year

Consumer protection society calls for addressing ‘blatant’ price discrepancies

2. Vegetable market
(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply conducts daily surveillance on Jordan’s markets, and has recorded 5,500 commercial violations since the beginning of 2022, ministry spokesperson Yanal Barmawi told Jordan News on Sunday. اضافة اعلان

Most of these violations have involved businesses not displaying prices clearly or raising prices above government-determined price ceilings, he said.

This followed recent comments by National Society of Consumer Protection President Mohammad Obeidat confronting the ministry for not reducing the prices of certain basic food staples in the Kingdom, despite a recent report by the World Food Organization noting their decline in global markets.

The ministry, he said, “does not look at prices in international markets, so the prices remain the same”.

Speaking to Jordan News on Sunday, the society president also highlighted “clear price discrepancies” in Jordan’s markets.

“People are seeing differences in prices between hypermarkets at malls and neighborhood supermarkets, and differences in the prices of basic goods such as rice and oil,” Obeidat said.

A reasonable difference in market prices is a normal sign of competition, he noted. “However, the price gap shouldn’t be significant, otherwise the ministry should intervene to make sure shops are selling under the price caps set by the government.”

‘Not enough’ surveillance?

Obeidat also accused the ministry of failing to implement intensive market surveillance and controls.

The society president said that the number of inspectors employed by the ministry is “not enough to cover Amman alone, much less the whole Kingdom”.

Barmawi, however, said that the ministry employs a sufficient number of surveillance officers. “Whenever we have control campaigns, the number of officers is increased if needed, with the help of many entities such as the Ministry of Interior.”

The Industry Ministry also receives complaints directly from citizens through its social media pages, and “follows up on them immediately”, the spokesperson said.

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