Prices increase poverty rate increases [Archives:2004/763/Business & Economy]

August 12 2004

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
Economists estimated that the rates of most recent price increases, on some commodities and major consumer goods, range between 60%-150%.
The wave of high prices has reached a peak, to the point consumers have lost confidence in their ability to buy food stuffs. While the price of a ton of construction steel rocketed from 62,000 Riyals to 112,000 Riyals before it has settled during last few days to 105,000 Riyals.
This wave of high prices has instigated discontent and dissatisfaction amongst citizens who have considered it as a direct result of the tax dose the government has recently imposed on several consumer goods.
The Yemeni Consumer Protection Association, in a statement it issued, confirmed that the price increases represent a serious development, which is of major concern to society.
It categorized the price hikes as an exploitation of sales law by some merchants, who caused the increase in prices, and who are exploiting the needs of the general public and ignoring the difficult financial condition many of them face as a result of the increased poverty rate in Yemen.
The Association urged the adoption of a firmer and more responsible stance by the related authorities that would prevent the deterioration of the situation. It has demanded the related authorities, once again, to react promptly to put an end to the unprovoked price increases on several commodities, so that consumers would not be victims of price escalation.
The Yemeni Local Production Promotion Association board, the related governmental apparatus, bears full responsibility for what the local market is currently witnessing of chaotic prices.
The Yemeni Consumer Protection Association called on them to bear their duties and responsibility, and to urge local Yemeni producers to reconsider the prices of several commodities and consumer goods that were recently subjected to price raises.
The association urged local producers to avoid mimicking the behavior of importers, since that would not serve the national goals. The association is seeking to promote, encourage and develop consumer confidence in national products.