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Wed 6 Jan 2010 08:08 AM

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Qatar eyes clampdown on retail price hikes

New panel being mulled to receive requests from traders who want to raise prices.

Qatar is planning to impose new restrictions in a bid to stop increases in the price of essential goods, it was reported on Wednesday.

Importers, wholesalers and retailers will soon require permission from the Ministry of Business and Trade, according to Sheikh Jassem bin Jaber Al Thani, director of the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Business and Trade.

In remarks to Al Sharq, cited by The Peninsula on Wednesday, he said that the prices of essentials remained relatively high in Qatar primarily due to skyrocketing shop rents.

The proposed move reflects the government’s intention to closely monitor the market and keep prices under check.

The Ministry also hopes to actively intervene in the market and fix the retail prices of essential goods, the paper added.

The Ministry is to set up a new committee which will receive requests from traders to raise prices. Currently, the members of the panel are being decided and its functions are being discussed in detail, the report said.

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