The UAE’s Ministry of Economy has launched an electronic system to monitor goods and their prices to counter attempts at potential monopoly, it said in a statement. The system will connect the ministry with the Ports and Customs and with major retailers and has the capacity to monitor the prices of 200 commodities on a daily basis.
The new system allows the ministry to access to all the items at retail outlets in the UAE, find out their prices and quantities received from customs, the volume of production locally, and the proportion of the quantities that were sold. On a weekly basis, it will also provide the prices of basic food commodities globally, and the wholesale price according to import bills, which are submitted to the customs ports, the statement said.
“The new system contributes to the stabilization of consumer prices in the UAE and the continued flow of commodities and predict crises that may occur in the future at both local and global levels,” Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy said in the statement.
It will also provide policy makers and analysts with the latest available information, and guide consumers to cheaper outlets, he said. These cheaper outlets make-up more than 80 per cent of the retail market in the country, he added.
Goods that are currently being monitored by the system are rice, wheat, poultry, sugar, milk, tea, meat, eggs, oils and fish, and the outlets that are monitored include cooperative societies in the UAE, Lulu Hypermarket, Carrefour and Spinneys.
The system is linked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and hence will identify global commodity prices to find out any possible price rise.
The Ministry has recently undertaken a pilot phase with some commodities and the results were generalized for other goods. There are also future plans to expand the system and introduce new commodities, said Mansoori.