Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri calls for measures to prevent traders from raising prices
The UAE's economy minister called on Tuesday for measures to prevent traders and commercial outlets from hiking prices, state news agency WAM reported, in the wake of an order to ramp up wages for some government employees.
Last week, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan ordered a doubling of salaries of some state employees in the judiciary, health and education sectors from January.
The UAE, one of the world's top five oil exporters, also set up a AED10bn ($2.7bn) fund to help pay low-income citizens' debts.
The federation of seven emirates has escaped the unrest rocking the Middle East this year. It enjoys one of the world's highest per capita incomes of around $48,600.
Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri said that an action plan to control traders through daily inspection tours would be enforced in coordination with local departments in the country, WAM reported.
His comments came during a meeting of the ministry with local market control authorities and consumption protection.
The ministry plans to keep price controls on basic commodities it had launched earlier this year, Mansouri said in November.
Consumer prices in the UAE dipped by 0.1 percent on an annual basis in October, their first decline in 20 months, and rose 0.4 percent from the previous month helped by a jump in food costs.
Analysts polled by Reuters in September expected average inflation in the OPEC member of 2.0 percent in 2011 and 3.0 percent in 2012.
One might expect this policy to be applied to all the large shopping malls which continue to put rents up ad infinitum to exhorbitant levels, which puts huge pressure on retailers margins if they are not permitted to increase prices.
Stop that scenario and you have much greater control, "look we have held/ capped rents or even created a RERA retail space rental index which must be adhered to by landlords for the duration of the recovery, therefore you better equipped to maintain sensible consumer prices."
If a fix price is printed on the daily basic products like foodstuff, toiletries etc there could be a better control on the prices.
Free markets work best in my humble opinion. Regulatory bodies controlling prices also leaves a bad taste in my mouth at some point the the marketplace will correct its self. And finally its a big turn off to Business in general in regards for future investments and it smacks of Big Brother. Canada once went down this road in the early Eighties felt a lot like socialism.