Saudi Arabia bakers warned against increasing prices

April 6, 2013

Caption: A baker in Saudi Arabia – Al Eqtisadiya

Saudi Arabia has warned that it will shut down bakeries that increase prices “regardless of the reasons”.

“The pricing policy is very clear and the flour is subsidised by the state, so we will shut down any shop or bakery that does not comply with the regulations,” Tawfeeq Al Rabia, the minister of commerce and industry said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Eqtisadiya on Sunday.

Several bakeries have reported that they were suffering losses after the prices of flour went up. “So far, more than 15 bakeries have shut down in the Saudi kingdom,” Fahd Al Salman, head of the national commission for bakeries, said. “They have incurred heavy losses and were unable to pay back their debts or to make any profits because of the high costs. In fact, there are some bakeries that have opted out of the bread-making business,” he said.

The decision to impose new levies on foreign workers has compounded the difficult situation, he said. Under the rule, a company based in Saudi Arabia has to pay 2,400 Saudi riyals (Dh2,346) annually for every expatriate employee if their total number is higher than that of the Saudi nationals. “If the current situation is not addressed promptly, we are heading towards a possible crisis, especially in the holy month of Ramadan and during the pilgrimage season,” Al Salman said.

Hundreds of thousands of people arrive in the Saudi kingdom on religious trips to mark both occasions, making heavy demands on the consumption of bread and other products. Ramadan, the month during which Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise until sunset, is expected to start in July.



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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