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Bread prices will not be raised, regardless of global events — Shamali

(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN— Minister of Industry, Trade, andSupply Yousef Al-Shamali said on Sunday that the price of bread will not be raised, no matter how high the price of wheat goes, according to local media outlets.اضافة اعلان

He said that Jordan is the only Arab country that has enough stocks of wheat and barley to last for more than a year.

“Every kilogram of bread is currently subsidized by 130 fils, and there will be no change in bread prices for the Jordanian citizen, regardless of global prices,” according to Shamali.

Shamali made this affirmation at a meeting of the Lower House Economy and Investment Committee Sunday, headed by Chairman Khair Abu Sa’ilek. Also attending was the head of the Amman Chamber of Commerce, and the General Association for Foodstuffs Merchants, Khalil Al-Haj Tawfiq, alongside representatives of the private sector and committee members. 

Abu Sa’ilek underlined the need to abolish the sales tax on basic commodities that are not tax-exempt, open the door for imports to everyone, support the National Aid Fund, as well as reduce interest rates on loans granted to traders and importers through financing counters supervised by the Central Bank of Jordan.

He said that the current global price hikes will have a positive effect on potash and phosphate exports, which means a rise in the government’s tax revenues. He urged the government to allocate these revenues to citizens with limited income to help them meet their needs amid a rising rate of inflation.

Members of the committee asked that importers be supported through soft-interest loans that help them carry out their duties to the fullest, and for interest rates imposed on loans to be reduced, stressing at the same time the importance of achieving and securing stock and food security in the Kingdom.

Shamali confirmed that prices of most basic materials have been increasing globally since August 2020, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that vegetable oils prices witnessed sharp price increases, affected by the climate change in the countries of origin and the fact that China and India imported very large quantities, which also drove prices up.

Shamali denied that the reason for these rises was the war in Ukraine. He attributed the rise in prices to the decision by many countries, such as Egypt, Algeria, and Malaysia, to ban exports of basic goods and raw materials.

Shamali also confirmed the availability of a safe stock of wheat and barley, sufficient for a period of 18 months, which ensure that the price of bread will not rise, despite the rise in wheat prices globally.

He also said that it is the government that imports these two types of grain, since the Kingdom’s annual production of wheat reaches 30,000 tonnes, enough for only 10 days for the population, which consumes 90,000 tonnes per month.

Shamali said that other basic materials are imported through the private sector, and are exempt from sales tax, such as sugar, oils, rice, and legumes.

According to him, a recommendation will be submitted to the Cabinet to reduce the tax on a number of basic materials that are not tax exempt, stressing that everyone should be allowed to import, without exception.

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