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UAE economy minister calls for steps to prevent price hikes

The UAE's economy minister called on Tuesday for measures to prevent traders and commercial outlets from hiking prices, state news agency WAM reported, in the wake of an order to ramp up wages for some government employees.

December 7, 2011 12:49 by

Last week, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan ordered a doubling of salaries of some state employees in the judiciary, health and education sectors from January.

The UAE, one of the world’s top five oil exporters, also set up a 10 billion dirham ($2.7 billion) fund to help pay low-income citizens’ debts.

The federation of seven emirates has escaped the unrest rocking the Middle East this year. It enjoys one of the world’s highest per capita incomes of around $48,600.

Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri said that an action plan to control traders through daily inspection tours would be enforced in coordination with local departments in the country, WAM reported.

His comments came during a meeting of the ministry with local market control authorities and consumption protection.

The ministry plans to keep price controls on basic commodities it had launched earlier this year, Mansouri said in November.

Consumer prices in the UAE dipped by 0.1 percent on an annual basis in October, their first decline in 20 months, and rose 0.4 percent from the previous month helped by a jump in food costs.

Analysts polled by Reuters in September expected average inflation in the OPEC member of 2.0 percent in 2011 and 3.0 percent in 2012. (Reporting by Martina Fuchs)

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