Prices of 400 consumer items fixed from today

A Dh200-million initiative launched by the UAE to stabilize the prices of 400 key commodities took effect on Wednesday and this means consumers need not to worry about any market manipulations until the end of the year.

The ministry of economy is sponsoring the initiative, which will be enforced by major shopping outlets through the UAE as they will display the “fixed price” logo on all the products included in the stabilized price campaign.

Inspectors from the ministry will be deployed through the market to ensure all outlets comply with the initiative, which the ministry says is intended to ease the financial burden on consumers and curb persistent market manipulations.

The initiative, the first of its kind in the Arab world, means that the prices of 400 key consumer items will remain unchanged through 2011 no matter what direction these prices takes worldwide.

“This initiative is the largest to be taken by the UAE concerning consumer prices…it will cost us around Dh200 million and is meant to stabilize the market and protect domestic consumers,” said Hashim al Huaimi, director of the consumer protection division at the ministry of economy.

“We have already informed all major shopping outlets not to raise the prices of these products until the end of the year and to make sure there will be enough supplies for the consumers…the items included in this initiative account for at least 50 per cent of the needs of consumers.”

He said key items in the initiative include rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil, poultry, bread, bottled water, dairy products, and other essential commodities.

He added that major outlets had agreed to support this initiative, including Carrefour, Lulu centre, Choithram, Spinney’s and cooperative societies.

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