DOHA: Despite promises by the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) to take stern action against traders raising prices following the hike in salaries of Qatari government employees, many nationals and residents feel that such assurances are yet to become a reality.
A vast majority of respondents — 92 percent — to an online survey conducted by Al Sharq said that they couldn’t see any effective monitoring in the market following the pay hike.
Of the 471 people who responded to the survey, only five percent said they were satisfied with the government monitoring. Three percent didn’t express any opinion.
Asked their view on the performance of the Consumer Protection Department, 81
percent replied “not good,” while eight percent said “somewhat good.” Only five percent said the performance was “good.”
In reply to another question on the effectiveness of government watch on counterfeit products, 83 percent said “not good,” while eight percent said “good.” Three percent of the total 462 people who responded to this question said the monitoring was “excellent.”
Reacting to the survey, several nationals and expatriates called for establishing a more effective body alongside the Consumer Protection Department with more powers to control the market.
The proposed body should have powers to monitor all the sectors including health, education, environment and agriculture. They felt that the market was being flooded with low quality products, while their prices are almost similar to that of branded ones.
According to Ibrahim Al Khulaifi, a national, there should be a permanent mechanism to monitor the prices and the quality of all goods and services.
“It is a common practice for the traders to raise the prices on every special occasion and this could happen after the salary hike. Traders are free to play with the prices of various goods and services that are not controlled by the Consumer Protection Department,” said Al Khulaifi.
Abdul Aziz Ali Abdul Kareem, also a national, called for a new body with more powers to assist the CPD. “There should be a department in each ministry to perform the role of the CPD and all these departments should be brought under a single administrative unit,” said Abdul Kareem.
Saleh Al Sulaiti said the authorities should intervene before the dealers exploit this occasion to hike the prices.
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