JEDDAH — The Ministry of Commerce has started an intensive inspection campaign covering all food stores and outlets of essential goods across the Kingdom to monitor prices and stocks of goods as part of containing price manipulation and protect the rights of consumers.

Inspectors from the ministry conducted raids covering more than 7,400 food stores within the past 24 hours.

This was in implementation of the directives of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is also chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA). While chairing the CEDA meeting on Monday, the Crown Prince stressed the need to tackle price rise.

He affirmed the important roles of ministries and government agencies concerning with monitoring international developments related to supply chains, monitoring markets, product availability, price levels, protecting and encouraging fair competition, and combating and preventing monopolistic practices that affect legitimate competition and the interests of the consumer.

The ministry is closely following up on 217 basic food products by monitoring their prices in all regions of the Kingdom through an electronic system that enables to compare prices of these commodities with the prices of neighboring countries, and following up on any influences on supply and demand.

The ministry warned that any case of consumer fraud or manipulation will be dealt with firmly.

Intensive inspection tours would continue over the coming days all over the Kingdom as part of the ministry’s resolve to contain price manipulation, monitor the stock of products, ensure the multiplicity of their suppliers, and the availability of alternative products to create free competition for the benefit of consumers.

The inspection raids would cover commercial establishments, markets and outlets in all regions of the Kingdom. Penalties stipulated in the commercial law will be slapped against anyone who caught to be involved in fraud or misleading the consumer.

While emphasizing that consumer is a partner in reporting commercial violations, the ministry called on all consumers not to hesitate to report when they detect any case of price manipulation through calling over the unified number 1900 or through the Balag Tijari application.

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