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Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on a second

Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on a second

Reports say that the government is set to reduce monopolies on basic food provisions and… hold on a second, go back a bit.

March 13, 2011 4:07 by

Good news! The newspapers are full of reports this week that the UAE government is soon to take action to help curb the prices of food in the country. According to Emirates 24-7, the ministry of economy said it would depress prices by annulling the agencies of certain products and consequently ending monopoly in the market.

Apparently the ministry has prepared a list of products this will apply to. Minister of Economy Sultan Al Mansouri said the higher committee for consumer protection was keen to “create an effective mechanism to cut prices of key consumer products through cooperation with the cooperative societies and other main outlets in the country with the aim of supporting the purchasing ability of consumers and achieving a balance in the local market.”

“Some of these goods are foodstuffs and others are not,” said Mohammed Al Shihi, the Ministry of Economy undersecretary. “These moves are within a ministry plan to depress prices of those products in a way that will be felt by all consumers permanently not temporarily as is the case these days… on the other hand, the ministry does not intervene directly in subsidising any product and the present measures we intend to take to cut prices will not include any direct subsidy of goods in the market.”

So, basically the…

Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on a minute. Did they just say monopoly? Let’s just get this straight: A monopoly has existed and still does exist in the UAE on ‘essential consumer goods’? Did anyone else know about this?

I mean. Kipp is not naïve, don’t get us wrong. We know all out monopolies and duopolies here in the UAE, and the subsequent prices and levels of service people can face. But we had no idea that there were similar situations in basic foodstuffs. Did you?

Any form of monopoly or duopoly is bad for consumers of course, but where it concerns essential goods it’s especially worrying. Any moves by the government to put an end to these will of course be welcomed by Kipp, but from now on we guess we’ll never take it for granted that a product isn’t being sold on a monopolized basis.

How many products are, and how much does it cost us? These are scary thoughts.

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