Muscat: Majlis Al Shura members on Tuesday unanimously rejected the decision of the Council of Ministers to restrict the Public Authority for Consumer Protection's powers of monitoring goods to only 23 food items. The move has left the prices of the remaining items to the vagaries of the market forces, said the members of Majlis.
Many of the members urged Majlis Al Shura Chairman Khalid Al Maawali to discuss the issues with higher authorities.
Majlis Al Shura also sought a freeze on the decision. Sultan Al Abri, head of the Water and Food Committee at the Majlis, stressed the need for further discussion on the issue.
Al Abri added that the Council did not refer the issue to the Majlis, which is a legislative and monitoring body for issuing such a decision. He further added that such a decision will make citizens an easy prey for greedy merchants.
He also said that the Majlis Al Shura had requested a discussion on the issue in the presence both, the Minister of Commerce and Industry and the Chairman of the Consumer Protection.
Meanwhile, a senior official has said that the list of 23 items that fall within the price control scheme of the PACP can be revised in the future at the discretion of the authorities concerned.
"To my knowledge, there is no decision at the moment to review the verdict, but new items may be added to the list or some products may be removed from the list in the future," Redha Juma Mohammed Ali Al Saleh, vice-chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), told the Times of Oman.
The PACP conducts regular inspections and prepares a report every six months and may recommend some changes to the current list, he added.
If they see an unjustified hike in the prices of certain goods, they may suggest that those items be added to the list, the OCCI's vice- chairman said. "Also, if they come to a conclusion that price control is not necessary for some of the items included in the list, they may suggest that those products be removed from the list," Al Saleh said.
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