The Ministry of Economy and Bani Yas Co-operative Society signed an agreement on Tuesday to peg the prices of 56 basic food commodities to 2007 levels.
The products that will be protected from inflationary increases include various types of rice, sugar, oil, flour, margarine, tea, salt, dairy products, tomato paste, legumes, chicken, meat, eggs, water and bread.
Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shihhi, undersecretary of the ministry, said the government has signed similar agreements with other societies and grocery stores to help curb a hike in global food prices.
"Although the increase in food prices is a global problem, we will work in collaboration with other parties concerned to bring down high prices in the domestic scene caused by monopoly or exploitation, which threaten the stability of the market. These initiatives are part of the government's overall efforts to reduce the rate of inflation through economic and social policies that control the prices of goods and services," said Al Shihhi.
He stressed the government would not tolerate retail monopolies and would oppose rising costs by promoting economic freedom and fair competition.
He cited proactive and practical steps taken by the government in this direction, highlighting the decision to release information on 16 agencies and basic food commodities, and several other initiatives.
The undersecretary called for enhanced co-operation between the public and private sectors, particularly co-operative societies, in combating the phenomenon of soaring prices and its negative economic and social effects. (Wam)