MP calls for independent supply ministry to enhance price controls

Trade industry
(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — MP Saleh Al-Armouti called for the creation of an independent ministry of supply that would monitor commodity prices and control “the price chaos in the market”, pointing out that price control in the Kingdom, was more effective prior to merging the supply ministry with trade and industry.اضافة اعلان

Armouti told Jordan News that the economic situation is alarming and prices are constantly rising, calling for a governmental intervention to control this “lack of checks and balances”, adding that a supply ministry must be restored.

The current price hike is not justified, according to Armouti, who said that “all the excuses announced are not convincing due to the existence of sufficient stockpiles in warehouses that can last for several months.”

Armouti believes that “the government does not know what its duties are and that it is not qualified to deal with this difficult situation to protect citizens who are grappling under economic pressure and low wages.”

Executive Director of the Consumer Protection Society Maher Al-Hajjat told Jordan News that he strongly supports setting up a supply ministry.

“We demand a ministry or authority that is concerned with the matters of supply and consumer protection and to function under the supervision of the Prime Ministry”, he said, adding that if supply affairs remain a task of the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply, “there will remain a price chaos”.

President of Amman Chamber of Commerce Khalil Haj Tawfik ruled out that establishing a separate supply ministry would bring any favorable outcomes, however, saying, “let there be a supply ministry for a trial period of 6–12 months and let the people decide for themselves.” Haj Tawfiq said a ministry of supply would only enforce monopolies and bring about higher commodity prices.

“The COVID-19 pandemic caused unrest and challenges for traders; but citizens did not face any shortage of commodities because traders worked tirelessly to supply the market with all the necessary needs,” Haj Tawfiq said. Now, more than ever, he noted, the public and private sectors must work together as a team “to confront a possible food supply crisis in light of increased demand and short supply.”

Haj Tawfik listed current challenges facing traders as a result of global developments; including a rise in freight charges as well as production costs, coupled with climate change and its impact on crops, saying “it is unfortunate that people do not take into account the global situation.”

Haj Tawfik said advocates of an independent supply ministry have high hopes for subsidized commodities, but, he added, “I can assure you that the government will not subsidize goods; rather, if it were to import goods, prices will be higher in the absence of competition.”

Read more Business