Qatar seeks to unify prices of daily items

June 16, 2014 - 3:40:17 am

DOHA: Qatar has suggested that the prices of several consumer items of daily use be made uniform across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

If accepted, the proposal could mean a reduction in the rates of many of these items since they are costlier in Qatar.

The list is to be soon posted on a GCC website that is being launched with the aim of raising consumer awareness in 

the region. 

The proposed portal would also display the prices of many commodities and services across the region, news items regarding action taken against counterfeit products and replicated brands and other such commercial frauds in member-states.

Heads and representatives of consumer protection departments from GCC states began their routine meeting here yesterday and approved the proposal to launch the above website.

Details of the website plans were outlined at the meet by Abdullah bin Juma Al Shibli, from the GCC Secretariat-General in Riyadh. 

The website will be based in Saudi Arabia.

Qatar has also proposed that the GCC states have a unified consumer protection law so that violations of consumer rights could be fought jointly.

“Violations of consumer rights are growing in number so we need closer cooperation among our GCC states to jointly fight the menace,” said H E Sultan bin Rahsid Al Khater, Undersecretary at Qatar’s Ministry of Economy and Commerce, who presided over the meeting.

Sheikh Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani, head of Qatar’s Consumer Protection Department was also present. The Department is part of the Economy Ministry.

Qatar’s proposals are to be referred to the member-states for study.

Discussions might be held to have a common label for all GCC products and ensure that their pricing in the region is uniform. The label would also show ingredients and specifications.

It has been hinted that GCC importers are keen to unite and build a lobby so they can put pressure on overseas exporters to ensure quality and reduction in prices for the benefit of consumers in the region.

The meeting is also scheduled to discuss the pricing and quality of automobile spare parts across the region and after-sales service of cars.

It is proposed that to enhance cooperation among consumer rights watchdogs from the GCC member-states. The meeting is held four times in a year.

The Peninsula

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