(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Major retailers and hypermarkets in Dubai have been asked to report suppliers manipulating prices of essential commodities. The move is aimed at protecting customers from price increases during the holy month of Ramadan.
While prices of certain essential commodities are fixed in Dubai, a few retail outlets have been observed to increase prices over the last 15 days. According to an official at the Department of Economic Development (DED), one major hypermarket was found to increase the price of sugar by as much as 39 per cent.
"We noticed price differences in a few commodities like fresh milk, meat, sugar, fruits and vegetables," said Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah, Deputy CEO, Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Sector, DED.
In a meeting with officials from major hypermarkets in Dubai, the department addressed the issue of price change in essential commodities as it called on suppliers to avoid manipulating prices and price dumping.
"We have asked retail outlets to provide us information on suppliers who have forced price increases. This is a very serious issue and we will make every effort to protect the consumer," added Ali Lootah. The official cited examples of price changes as he said some suppliers had increased prices of products before Ramadan, and then announced discounts during the holy month. Prices of dairy products and meat products were also differentiated across major retail outlets.
"Hypermarkets will provide information about suppliers found to impose unapproved price increases. We will also continue to co-ordinate with various parties to ensure better transparency in prices," said the official.
Suppliers found to manipulate prices will be reported to the Ministry of Economy, which will take necessary action.