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Posted On: 15 October 2013 12:52 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

Residents complain about disparity in prices

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A number of buyers have complained about disparity in prices of certain goods in demand in retail shops and commercial centres this Eid Al Adha. They say shops sell the same goods but their prices vary between 50 dirhams and QR5 from one shop to another. “Why is this happening and what are the concerned authorities doing about this?” a buyer asked. Dr Hosni Kholi, an economist, said disparity in prices is a normal phenomenon when there is an increase in demand for some goods. For instance this Eid, people focus on buying clothes, perfumes, sweets and some types of food in addition to sheep, he said. Price increase during Eid, Dr Kholi said, is pre-planned by traders because they know what people need and want and make sure they increase the supply of these items during Eid. “Traders see Eid as a season for more sales so some items are increased from 50 to 75 percent compared to other times of the year,” he told Al Sharq. He said differences in prices from one shop to another cannot be addressed by government intervention alone or tight monitoring of the market, but can be addressed by creating balance between supply, in which suppliers should know the most required goods for specific occasion and make them available. “There is also a need to empower civic organisations to protect consumers and raise awareness so that they don’t buy more than their needs and find alternative products to those whose prices are very high during the season.” He said Qatar Chamber and other associations should be active during this time and corrupt traders be punished by law. Khalid Al Suwaidi, businessman and investor, said fluctuation in prices of goods affects consumption and people lose trust in the local market. This has a negative effect on the local market as buyers look to neighbouring countries to purchase their needs at a lower price, he added.