The prices of several basic food items have dropped or stabilised recently, according to the Industry and Commerce Ministry.Commodities such as cooking oil, sugar, frozen chicken, rice, baby formula, and fruit and vegetables have become cheaper, it said in a statement yesterday.“Supermarkets and hypermarkets are offering various discounts on products like cooking oil, cheese, milk, flour, sugar, fruit and vegetables, which gives the consumer affordable options,” it added, claiming that the trend can be linked to the ministry’s policies aimed at lowering costs for businesses.

One such policy is a three-month suspension of fees on commercial land used as warehouses to stock food items.The requirement for stores to get approvals before discount campaigns has also been suspended for three months.“Meanwhile, the ministry is continuing its inspection of stores and vendors to monitor prices and to ensure there is no cheating or unlawful practices.”

Business owners were urged to follow all rules and regulations ‘to avoid serious legal consequences’.Alleged violations can be reported through the National Suggestions and Complaints System, Tawasul, or via the Government Services Contact Centre’s hotline at 80008001.The inspection directorate can also be reached via WhatsApp 17111225 or

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