Skyrocketing prices [Archives:2004/766/Local News]

August 23 2004

Yemeni traders exchanged accusations last week, with the officials of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce over the price rise of basic articles on the Yemeni market, only two weeks since amending the laws on production and consumption taxation.
The Minister of Industry and Commerce Khaled Rajeh Sheikh met last week a number of businessmen to discuss the rise. “Raising prices of some items by traders is not lawful and is unwarranted,” he commented, adding that there is no reason for price rises for items not covered by the new tax.
The minister mentioned that the tax ranges from 5-10% and includes detergents, cosmetics, sweets, biscuits, ice creams, jelly, and postal and telephone services, “all of which have nothing to do with the people's basic needs”!
Mahfood Shamakh, deputy director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sana'a, denied that traders are behind the rise. “It is due to several factors such as a 35-40% rise in international transportation fares, the halting of governments subsidies for some public-sector products and the huge taxes recently imposed on traders under a variety of guises,” explained he.
The Yemeni market currently witnesses a rise in the prices of many basic foodstuffs such as meats, sugar, rice, wheat, milks, dairies, as well as vegetables, fruits and beans with rates ranging between 50-100%.