Gas supply firm fined Dh100,000 for hiking price

A gas supply company in Abu Dhabi was fined Dh100,000 for raising its prices by a whopping 120 per cent as authorities moved to crack down on random price increases, press reports said on Tuesday.

The ministry of Economy said it would gather all gas suppliers through the UAE at a meeting next week to warn them that any random hikes in gas prices is illegal and that they need a prior government permission.

In a statement carried by Emirat Alyoum Arabic language daily, the Ministry dismissed as “illegal” an article included in supply contracts by domestic gas firms that they have the right to raise prices any time.

“It is an illegal move by all domestic gas suppliers and we call on the consumers to defend their rights by submitting complaints to the competent authorities.”

The statement did not identify the penalized firm but said it was fined Dh100,000 for its sudden decision to raise prices of its supplies by 120 per cent without obtaining prior permission from authorities.

“The Ministry has forced that company to pay the fine and to punish those who were behind this increase…it also obtained a pledge from that firm not to hike prices without a prior permission from the higher committee for the consumers’ protection,” said Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of consumer protection.

He said the ministry would stress to all gas suppliers at next week’s meeting that they must not raise prices without prior official approval and that offenders would be fined Dh100,000. “The meeting will also discuss whether other firms have increased their prices and whether the market justifies any increase.”

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