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Finance: Unwarranted commodity price increases

Minister of State for the Ministry of Finance, Majdi Hassan Yassin, said that the price increases of goods are unjustified and that the budget of 2018 included a number of laws to exempt basic consumer goods, referring to the federal and state decrees that monitor and control the markets.

In his response to the urgent question on the rise in the prices of strategic commodities, the minister reviewed the amount of commodities including lentils, beans, rice and yeast that were exempt from all taxes.

He pointed out that local products such as soap and local oils, again that local sugar has been exempted entirely from production fees, and that tea is exempt from all customs duties except imported sugar, stressing the government’s support for poor families to ease the living.

The minister announced the pursuit of his ministry to curb speculations in the exchange rate in the markets to ease the pressure on citizens. “The price of tons of cement should be sold to the consumer today at a value of 2600 pounds, but it is now sold at 3500 pounds, which is an unjustified increase,” he said, calling on the parliament to activate laws and control and identify markets.

He attributed the lack of availability of maize to the lack of adequate dates, indicating that the trend now to increase the storage and the establishment of silos, and that strategic stocks are distributed according to the requests of the mandates.

Parliamentarians called for urgent measures and government mechanisms to control the market in all states and support the poor, pointing out that the most affected are employees of the state. The deputies stressed the need to control the market and curb the greed of traders and bakery owners.


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