KUWAIT CITY, Oct 15: A number of Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates expressed their frustration over the recent huge increase in the prices of commodities and food items in the market. In a survey carried out by the daily, the participants pointed out the lack of monitoring and supervision in the market which have contributed to the greediness of foodstuff traders.
They stressed that the concerned authorities should come to the rescue by monitoring the markets, insisting on the need to unify the prices of commodities and foodstuffs. They also decried the vast differences in pricing among different outlets.
Several consumers said the food items being sold in Kuwait are expensive compared to its Gulf counterparts, due to which some of them to buy their foodstuffs from Saudi Arabia.
A Kuwaiti citizen Abu Ali lamented that the prices of vegetables in the market have increased. He cited the example of tomatoes, which used to cost 600 fils per kilogram but it has been increased to more than KD 1 in some outlets. He also said the cost of one kilogram of cucumber has increased from 90 fils to 200 fils.
A Kuwaiti citizen Ayed Al- Mansour warned that the meat prices has followed the trend of the prices of vegetables such that a kilogram of Australian mutton, which used to cost about KD 2.250, is now being sold at more than KD 3 or even KD 4 in some shops. He lamented that this is clear evidence of the absence of monitoring in the market which has led to aggravation of the greediness of traders.
Another citizen Abu Harbi indicated that the costs of foodstuffs this year have actually increased by more than 50 percent compared to last year. He said the prices of vegetables and foodstuffs in other GCC countries are cheaper than in Kuwait, revealing that some citizens often drive to Saudi Arabia to buy foodstuffs.
Adel Abbas expressed disappointment with the current situation in the country, insisting that the most affected people are low-income earners especially expatriates whose salaries are very low and incapable of adjusting to the price hike of commodities in addition to increased gasoline prices and school fees of their children.
Umm Mohammad lamented about the huge hike of commodity prices in the past few years. She explained that cooking oil used to cost 900 fils for a bottle of 1.8 liters but now it costs KD 1.400. Cheese prices have also been increased by more than 30 percent.
At the same time, her husband’s salary is only KD 500 but half of it is spent for paying the rent of their apartment, while it is very difficult to cover other expenses with the rest of his salary.
By Najeh Bilal Al-Seyassah Staff