Pre-Ramadan price surge alarms consumers

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KUWAIT CITY, March 3: As the countdown to the blessed month of Ramadan begins, concerns about potential price hikes and shortages of essential goods have emerged among many families in Kuwait. These concerns are fueled by geopolitical tensions in the region, challenges in supply chains, and the threat of war, all of which could impact the prices and availability of goods. Some consumers have already noticed a significant increase in prices of essential items, such as oil, sugar, and various food products, with some products experiencing up to a 50% price hike. This has led to frustration among citizens, who feel that government control over prices is lacking.

Citizens are calling on the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to take action to curb price increases and hold merchants accountable for price manipulation. Many express disappointment that the promise to pursue price manipulators has not been fulfilled, urging tighter control mechanisms over markets. The increase in prices is not limited to food items; household cleaning tools and other essentials have also experienced significant price hikes. Consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to afford necessities, especially with the approach of Ramadan, during which demand traditionally rises.

In response to these concerns, officials assure consumers that inspections by regulatory authorities are ongoing, and immediate action is taken upon receiving complaints. However, consumers remain skeptical and demand more decisive measures to address price hikes. Former officials and experts emphasize the importance of government intervention to stabilize food prices, suggesting solutions such as expanding domestic agricultural production and exploring opportunities for cultivation abroad.

They stress the need for long-term strategies to address agricultural challenges and ensure food security. Consumer protection associations assure citizens that relief is on the way, with plans to import large quantities of onions to alleviate the current crisis. They encourage consumers to file complaints about price increases and assure them that regulatory authorities are actively working to control prices. Overall, the rise in food prices ahead of Ramadan underscores the need for effective government intervention and consumer advocacy to ensure fair pricing and accessibility of essential goods for all citizens.

By Najeh Bilal
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff

This news has been read 2638 times!

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