Prices here to? [Archives:2007/1031/Opinion]

March 8 2007

By: Awatef Al-Shara'abi
We are daily shocked by skyrocketing prices, which laws and regulations find difficult to control. Prices fluctuate between hikes and further hikes, as well as the mood of shopkeepers and wholesalers. Such a fact is the be-all end-all criteria for evaluating the situation, while consumers seem to be stupid and indifferent, as if price hikes have become a law passed upon society.

Wholesalers and grocers exhibit their consent to such prohibitive prices by paying for any commodities without bearing in mind that the greedy policy of traders is backed by consumers' stupidity and indifference, coupled with the inability of concerned government parties to control prices, which usually rise according to the mood of traders.

The suffering of submissive citizens begins with buying expensive commodities, whose prices skyrocket daily without any clear reason or justification, supposedly taking into consideration the scarce purchasing power of the poor and the fluctuating purchasing power of the middle class. The latter group hardly can be seen in Yemen due to the prohibitive prices and hard living conditions in cities and rural areas as well.

Prices start increasing gradually by YR 10 while we don't understand the nation's economic situation and citizens don't see any tangible reforms in their living standards. Citizens have no alternative but to accept the daily rising prices until they've lost their basic right to the protein of yoghurt and eggs because the price of the former has jumped from YR 70 to YR 90 and, via the joint efforts of traders, is expected to be YR 100. The egg, which isn't manufactured by man, now is priced at YR 30.

Tomatoes appear for some time and then disappear as if they are shining stars that can't be seen in the sunlight. Gas agents roam from street to street, asking YR 600 per filled cylinder. When asked why a gas cylinder is YR 600, sellers push their carts onward without any response.

In this situation, the question persists: Is it possible for us to discuss the national economy and its components, as well as issue economic publications about progress and development? Is it possible for us to write about money and business? Is it possible for us to become integrated into those countries with strong economies?

Source: Al-Thori newspaper