KUWAIT CITY, Aug 25: Several citizens and expatriates expressed deep sorrow over the increase in the prices of school supplies this year, disclosing that school bags now cost more than KD 18 and some types of bags are being sold for KD 30.
They said the traders increased prices of school supplies by more than 70 percent compared to that of last year, indicating this is happening under deafening silence of the concerned control bodies in the government.
Some traders have admitted that the prices of school supplies increased this year by various percentages depending on the shops. They added the prices of products from China have also increased although they were sold at low prices in previous years.
They attributed the price hike to the increase in freight costs worldwide. A Kuwaiti, Musa Al-Hamidi, revealed he was surprised by this year’s prices of school supplies which he finds outrageous, citing as an example a 150-page notebook which now costs more than 900 fils compared to 600 fils last year while the prices of pens and colors increased by more than 75 percent.
Umm Huda added the prices of medium school bags increased to more than KD 18, whereas the new types of bags cost more than KD 30.
This means a family with three children in school may have to cough up a sum of about KD 100 to buy good quality school bags for their children. Comparing this year’s prices with that of last year, Umm Huda said the school bags were sold at around KD 12 then, but the bags do not last for more than three months even if they are expensive. Another citizen, Abu Abdallah, accused the traders of exploiting the back-to-school season in an outrageous manner.
He has seven children and he spent more than KD 350 for their school supplies, asserting this will keep on happening as long as the Price Control Department is silent because the traders will continue exploiting the pockets of citizens and expatriates. He was quick to add though that in spite of the silence of control bodies over this issue, the traders would not have exploited the consumers if they had the sense of Allah watching over them and their actions.
Also, Afifi Ibrahim revealed a drawing book which cost 200 fils last year now costs 350 fils, while the prices of pencils and ball pens increased by more than 50 percent and the notebooks by 100 percent.
Hajer Saad asserted the Eid Al-Adha festival coincides with the beginning of the school year this year and the decision to increase fuel prices will take effect in September, let alone the increase in prices of foodstuff and school fees. He wondered where will people with limited income get money to cope up with the rising prices of goods. He called on the traders to fear Almighty Allah as they conduct their businesses and sell good at affordable prices without exploiting consumers.
By Najeh Bilal Al-Seyassah Staff