There will be no increase in the price of fruit and vegetables before and during the fasting month of Ramadan due to start next month.
To cater to rise in demand during the Holy month, supplies are to be increased by more than 50 per cent according to a senior Consumer Protection Department official.
“Fruit and vegetable vendors have agreed to resist from raising prices before Ramadan. We will also regularly inspect that the prices are maintained and not arbitrarily increased,” said Dr Hashem Al Nuaimi, Director of the Consumer Protection Department of the Ministry of Economy. Al Nuaimi, who held a meeting with the Suppliers of Fruits and Vegetables Committee on Wednesday, said violators of the price cap would get fined between Dh5,000 and Dh100,000.
Prior to fixig the prices of basic commodities, the department has been conducting meetings with various outlets to prevent any rise in prices. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Economy said the UAE would fix prices of 1,650 basic commodities to the end of this year. In 2011, the number of such items was around 800.
Consumers usually complain of outlets raising the cost just before they are fixed by the government prior to Ramadan.
Al Nuaimi said the authorities would ensure any such malpractice would not take place and consumers would not suffer.
He said people could lodge complaints if they find they are being overcharged and that these would be addressed.
The department has also conducted meetings with fish traders in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to determine fish prices during Ramadan.
An average rise of 20-30 per cent is recorded during the Holy month of Ramadan from Muslim families and authorities said people should resist from hoarding as supplies would be increased to cater to the demand.
“The supplies would be increased by about 50 per cent,” said Al Nuaimi.