Qatar launches campaign to keep Ramadan food prices from rising

June 22, 2011

Qatar’s Consumer Protection Department (CPD) said that it had added 100 commodities to the list of food and non-food items available at reduced prices during Ramadan.

The inclusion boosts the number of commodities under a price freeze to 267, up from 156 in 2010.

The reduced prices will come into force on July 15, two weeks ahead of Ramadan, expected to start on August 1, and will continue until the end of the fasting month, expected on August 29, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Wednesday.

Ramadan, the sacred month for Muslims during which they abstain from eating, drinking and sensual pleasures from sunrise until sunset, is based on the lunar calendar.

The full price list is expected to be issued next week and retailers are not permitted to sell the commodities at prices higher than those fixed by the CPD.

Major food items included in the list are edible oil, floor, fish and poultry products, milk, frozen vegetables, pastries and juices. Non-food items include foil paper, tissue paper and several hygiene products.

However, the daily said that it was not clear whether the reduced prices would apply to wheat and sugar, two items that were included in last year’s price freeze. Prices of both the commodities, especially sugar had shot up manifold over the past year.

Fruits and vegetables are also not likely to be included in the freeze, despite repeated calls from the public to control their prices during Ramadan.

Wholesalers have been asked to release sufficient stocks of the commodities to the market for the benefit of customers.

Last year, there had been complaints about some traders trying to cut supply to avoid losses arising from the price freeze.

Shaikh Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani, CPD director, said the department would launch intensive inspections before and during Ramadan to ensure that all traders abide by the price list.

Consumers have been urged to report any violations of the rule to the Department. He said there was a plan, in collaboration with all the municipalities to distribute the price list to the public, ahead of Ramadan.

Shaikh Jassim said the CPD had tied up with 14 major retail outlets to make the Ramadan campaign a success.

The department has also entered into an agreement with Qatar Meat and Livestock Company- Mawashi- to import 20,000 Jordanian sheep ahead of Ramadan, apparently to address the continuing shortage of Syrian sheep in the country.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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