Authorities urged to step in

Libyans complain of high prices in Ramadan

GMT 19:39 2012 Thursday ,19 July

Arab Today, arab today Libyans complain of high prices in Ramadan

Residents are complaining of rising prices as Ramadan approaches in Libya
Tripoli - Emad Agag

Residents are complaining of rising prices as Ramadan approaches in Libya Residents are complaining of rising prices as Ramadan approaches in Libya, despite the joy accompanying the first holy month without slain leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime and the great success of the National Congress elections.
Citizens have however demanded the new government intervene to put an end to the price rise that spoils their joy.
While traders have been accused of exploitation, they in turn blame exporting countries and middlemen, while the authorities are derided for ignoring the problem.
Arabstoday took a tour of some markets and met a state employee named Hafez Kofi who said: “I’m so excited about Ramadan, the month of mercy and obedience to God, and I am now in the market with my family to buy the necessary goods,” pointing out that he buys only the most important goods and avoids purchasing luxuries. He affirmed that prices were high, demanding the state do something as costs had doubled.
On the other hand, Entesar Hamri, a housewife, said prices were much higher than the past year but it would not spoil the joy in the holy month. She said: “It is the first time I've seen goods in the market and I do not know where they are coming from as the manufacturing country is not mentioned,” while saying most customers had noticed this.
She added: “We heard that there are Israeli and Iranian goods in the country let in by traders who care only about money. It is inhumane to sell goods unfit for human us."
Meanwhile, merchant Mohammed al-Najar said that most people blamed the shopowner or trader for raising prices, which was wrong as they bought goods at high prices from the source itself.
"I wonder, what can be done if that is the case?" he said.
Najjar explained that the new government should support some commodities so that any employee with low wages can buy and provide food for their family in Ramadan.
According to a captain in the municipal guard service, Idris Salim, there are many goods sold whose sources are unknown.
He explained that in the past few days members of the service were able to capture a large amount of rotten meat and other food to be destroyed, noting that the country's borders were open from all sides which made it easier for merchants to smuggle damaged and expired goods.
He appealed to the authorities in the state to stop such abuse and punish every person, asserting that some traders were caught and then released with bail.
He called on the transitional authorities and the National Congress to stop the abuse and provide necessary tools for security in the state (new cars, weapons, devices and new headquarters) to serve the citizens properly.
Salem pointed out that the elected local council in Benghazi was currently working on activating a municipal guard to play an effective role in price control during the month of Ramadan.
He added that the council held a meeting few days ago with the competent authorities and discussed developing a programme to fix  prices in Ramadan and publish the fixed prices in the media, as well as discuss the activation of a draft Industrial Zone and Free Trade Zone in Benghazi as soon as possible to boost the economy.

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