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

Hundreds of Jordanians took to the streets to protest at the rising price of basic goods

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.

 

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