He stressed that the open debate that took place in the House of Representatives to discuss the price hike provided an opportunity to inform citizens of the most important measures and steps taken by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to reduce prices.
The minister pointed out that the current situation in the world has created challenges that have affected global supply chains, leading to global inflation and a rise in prices.
As a result, he said, the Ministry of Industry and Trade intensified monitoring and inspection campaigns to ensure the availability of all basic commodities of interest to citizens.
He explained that the competent supervisory authorities in the ministry intensified field inspection visits to markets and shops, pointing out that up to 11,875 inspection visits were conducted until January 2023, which led to legal measures being taken against violators, including the closure of 27 stores. .
He stressed that the ministry will continue its inspection campaigns, stressing that firm and deterrent measures will be taken against violators.
He pointed out that, in line with the directives of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, to the concerned government agencies to develop plans and urgent measures to fix prices and ensure the availability of goods, industry and services. The Ministry of Commerce has taken the following measures:
1- Implementation of an action plan to intensify inspection and field campaigns to ensure that there is no manipulation in the prices of goods and products, commercial fraud, incorrect offers and discounts, and any other illegal manifestations. If any violations are detected, immediate legal action is taken.
2- Temporary suspension of industrial land fees for food storage facilities for a period of three months (which are considered part of supply chains).
3- Temporary suspension of approvals and fees required by the Ministry of Industry and Trade for supermarkets to conduct promotional campaigns for a period of three months.
He added that His Highness the Crown Prince and Prime Minister issued directives to the concerned authorities and the Ministry of Social Development to disburse an additional month of financial support to families with limited incomes to confront global inflation.
The Minister of Industry and Trade affirmed that Bahrain’s economy is part of the global economic system, which is characterized by free supply and demand, abundance and diversity in commodities and consumer products, which are affected by multiple global factors, the most important of which are the cost of operation, transportation, freight, import, insurance, seasonal conditions, accidents and natural disasters.
He pointed out that global prices are gradually declining, as indicated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which said that the global price index for food commodities decreased in January by 17.9% compared to March 2022.
He added that the global trend will be reflected positively at the local level, as the prices of local commodities will decline, noting that the prices of some basic commodities are actually declining and stabilizing as a result of visits and monitoring and inspection campaigns.
The Minister of Industry and Trade affirmed that the Kingdom possesses sufficient stocks of basic food commodities, in line with the government’s keenness to continue to secure strategic stocks, and to ensure the availability and diversity of food commodities.