Jordan mulls cost of living as public protests increase

Government aims to tackle rising commodity prices as hundreds protested over the weekend
Hundreds of Jordanians took to the streets to protest at the rising price of basic goods
By Shane McGinley
Sun 16 Jan 2011 04:39 PM

Jordan’s
government has unveiled a raft of measures to curb spiralling commodity costs
as hundreds took to the streets to protest at the rising price of basic goods.

On
Saturday, Minister of Industry and Trade Amer Hadidi told the cabinet his ministry
plans to introduce new competition laws which will prohibit overpricing,
maintain prices within normal levels, and toughen punishments of offenders, the
Jordan News Agency reported.

Hadidi
said the ministry is also in the process of drafting a consumer protection law
to protect the rights of consumers.

The
government "will not stand idly by" hikes in the prices of staple
foodstuffs and will forward to the parliament legislation needed for broader
government intervention in the market to control prices and maintain
competitiveness, Hadidi said.

He
added that his ministry is planning to release a monthly bulletin showing the
prices of ten basic commodities based on Jordan Customs Department's data and
prices in world markets.

If
commodity prices are found to be high, the military and civil consumer
corporations will import stocks of the commodity in order to stabilise the
price. The government has allocated a budget of around JD20m ($28.2m) to carry
out this initiative.

The
moves come as it was reported that on Friday hundreds of Jordanians marched
through the streets of Amman and other cities to protest rising prices of basic
commodities.

On
Sunday, the Islamic Action Front, some other political parties and professional
associations are due to stage a sit-in to highlight rising costs.

 

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.