The Ministry of Economy yesterday reassured that the decision to deregulate fuel prices in the UAE from August 1 will not have an adverse impact or lead to any increase in the price of consumer goods. The Ministry further reiterated that it will work in cooperation with relevant authorities across the emirates to tighten control over the market and prevent any attempt to exploit the decision to deregulate fuel prices by raising the price of consumer goods.
In an official statement, the Ministry said projections indicate that diesel prices will decline markedly triggering a related reduction in transport costs of consumer goods and thereby ensure that the prices will eventually decrease rather than climb further.
Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy for Economic Affairs, stressed that the Ministry prioritised consumer protection as a fundamental pillar in its commitment to strengthening the UAE's social security standards. He said that the deregulation of fuel will not adversely affect the prices of goods traded in the UAE, as prices will be subject to intense and continued monitoring by the Ministry's Consumer Protection Department.
Al Shehhi pointed out that the initiatives launched by the Ministry of Economy and the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection over the past few years have succeeded in stabilising the market and limiting attempts to monopolise or spike prices of goods traded across the emirates.
He also commended the significant role of the Committee in planning and executing consumer protection policies, supporting price stability and balancing market performance while enhancing economic growth.
Al Shehhi stressed that the Ministry of Economy will not tolerate violations to the law or any attempt to unfairly increase or manipulate prices. He further explained that the country's judicial system gives the Ministry absolute legal authority to issue fines according to the nature of violations. The Federal Law No. 7 of 2011, he added, was introduced as a modification of Law No. 24 of 2006 to intensify penalties on tradesmen who sell over-priced items.
Al Shehhi called on all consumers in the UAE to remain vigilant and immediately inform the Ministry of Economy and related entities of any price increase following the announcement of the deregulation of fuel prices in the country. He also invited them to call the Consumer Protection hotline (600522225) to notify the Ministry of such related violations.
The Undersecretary noted that since 2014, the Ministry of Economy has clarified to all retail outlets and restaurants in the UAE that unwarranted price increases at their outlets would not be approved unless they requested for the same though formal applications submitted to the Ministry. The Consumer Protection Department has been mandated to study these applications and conduct a feasibility analysis prior to referring them to the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection for a final decision. Furthermore, he added that the Ministry now requires an official application to be submitted by companies looking to increase the prices of their products.
On his part, Humaid bin Butti Al Muhairi, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Commercial Affairs, said that the Ministry will escalate market supervision in the UAE following the deregulation of fuel price from August 1. He encouraged consumers in the UAE to cooperate with the Ministry's Consumer Protection Department and its inspection teams to help regulate market dynamics through notifying the teams of any price hikes in products.