Annas [Archives:2004/715/Press Review]

February 26 2004

23 Feb.2004
Main headlines
– Yemeni Journalists Syndicate 3rd conference concluded its meetings
– Law suit against local council of Azal district
– Reformists in Iran sustain defeat in parliamentary elections
– A report on Yemeni woman and development: Female university education indicators tragic and causing worry
– Organised by the Yemeni Center for Strategic Studies,
– Seminar on Yemeni political trends towards regional groupings
– On the rise of oil products prices,
– The oil company denies the news published by some media

Columnist Nabil al-Awadhi says in an article while the Yemenis were showing fear from a fresh price dose covering prices of oil products, according to leaked news, they got surprised to see price hikes of some foodstuffs mainly wheat and flour during the past two months, and after that had aroused popular and press fuss. Soon the parliament entrusted the committee of trade and services to prepare a report on the subject and the report came to be expressive of what he minister of trade and industry said when the committee met him. That had urged the parliament to summon the minister to the parliament. The last Monday session has seen heated discussion with minister of trade and industry Khalid Rajih Sheikh who ascribed the rise in the prices of wheat and flour to the rise of their prices in the world due to increased demand as a result of drought hitting many countries in the world last summer, confirming that his ministry had taken all it could of efforts to deal with the problem. The minister added that he hoped the prices would drop next summer.
Man MPs on the other hand have expressed their non-conviction about the minister's justifications, clarifying that the price rise included all foodstuffs not only the wheat and flour. Some MPs also said even if it could be conceded that the minister's account was dependable there was in fact a big difference between he world price and the local price of the two commodities.
The two MPs Abdulkareem Shaiban and Mohammed Abughaith held the government as contributing to the rise of prices through its leaking of news even before the actual rise. As part of solutions proposed by MPs, Mr Nabil Al-Basha warned the government against the disaster that would take place if the government did not tackle the subject, calling on the government to pursue a new strategy for food security and to give it priority in its attention, Other MPs urged for activation of the role of the ministry's monitoring of the two commodities of wheat and flour as they were considered two strategic goods. MP al-Shaibani has more than that called for lifting customs duties and ports duties regarding the two commodities and that the ministry had to determine a reasonable profit margin for the merchants.