Citizens, expats express anger over skyrocketing prices – Residency traders roaming freely: MP

Sheep are unloaded from a truck at a livestock market in Kuwait City on Sept 4, ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha or the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’.
Sheep are unloaded from a truck at a livestock market in Kuwait City on Sept 4, ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha or the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’.

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 4: Several citizens and expatriates have expressed displeasure over the skyrocketing prices of commodities after the recent hike in fuel prices, saying traders are transferring financial burdens on consumers, and foodstuff traders in particular, are exploiting the opportunity to reap more profits. According to a Kuwaiti man known as Bu Nasser, the prices of food items increased beyond the ceiling immediately after the fuel price hike. He said this situation is an added pressure on poor citizens and low income earners. He disclosed a kilogram of Australian meat now sells for KD 2.500 to KD 3.250, indicating the same happened to the prices of many other food items.

Another citizen, Mahmoud Al-Onaizi, attributed this to the lack of market monitoring which encourages traders to increase prices whimsically. He compared the situation to an adage, “He who is immune to punishment misbehaves”.

Also, Bakary Bushra said a kilogram of African orange was sold for 320 fils before the fuel price hike but it now sells for 400 fils. He reiterated the prices of other food items soared after the implementation of the decision to increase the prices of fuel.

Bader Al-Rashidi pointed out the prices of food items in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and other GCC countries remain normal due to close monitoring of markets, but the situation is completely different in Kuwait. He accused the traders of putting additional burdens on consumers, because trucks and other heavy vehicles used in transporting vegetables and fruits use diesel whose price is not affected by the decision.

Foodstuff seller Bu Hamad disagreed with the notion that prices went up without justification. He said the prices of food items have increased across the world, so it is normal to see the prices going up since Kuwait is an importer of goods.

He asserted some traders raised their prices but the difference is negligible since they want to sell their commodities quickly. He added prices might increase by up to 30 percent next year when the new electricity billing system is implemented.

KUWAIT CITY: MP Abdullah Al-Maayouf says the issue of visa trade and labor violation dates from far back, and successive Ministers of Social Affairs and Labor never claimed having the potential to solve the problem, knowing it’s out of hand, reports Al-Qabas daily. He added the incumbent Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Subaih vowed to confront the file but she has done nothing until now. He lamented residency traders roam freely without prosecution while companies violating labor law continue to operate without facing the wrath of law.

By Najeh Bilal Al-Seyassah Staff

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