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Al-Sebae’i slams MoCI over unreasonable price hikes ‘Need to reject idea of privatizing co-op societies’

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 15: Deputy Board Chairman of the Consumer Protection Volunteer Association Khaled Al-Sebae’i has complained about the way the Ministry of Commerce and Industry handles important issues like the unreasonable price hikes, reports Al-Shahid daily. Al-Sebae’I said it is pointless to conduct a series of awareness campaigns if the ministry continues to ignore the soaring prices which devour the pockets of citizens and expatriates. He wonders why the ministry finds it difficult to remain on neutral ground in terms of addressing the price hike issue. He urged the ministry to take all the necessary steps to protect the consumers rather than taking the side of the other party — the traders.

Denouncing how the ministry deals with greedy traders through methods aimed at monopolizing the market, Al-Sebae’I argued that conducting public awareness campaigns is not a good step towards the discovery of those involved in commercial cheating, unreasonable price hikes and those who violate the rights of the consumers. He suggested the regular inspection of various establishments to address the issue. He said the prices in cooperative societies have been increasing rapidly, putting the consumers in a tough situation which necessitates the immediate intervention of the ministry to find lasting solutions; instead of organizing public awareness campaigns and advertisements.

He claimed some big business persons are pushing for the privatization of cooperative societies in order to own them and transform them into joint-stock companies. He called for the outright rejection of this idea as it is detrimental to the consumers. He pointed out one of the major problems in cooperative societies is the unjustified hike in prices; in addition to the rent of shelves and other related issues. He confirmed the Cooperative Societies Union is a good listener but it does not take concrete steps to solve the problems of the consumers. He said the leaders of the union are good at issuing statements and making promises without taking tangible steps to prevent the unreasonable price hikes

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