Muscat: There is no reason for companies to raise the prices of their products in the current scenario, a senior member of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) said on Sunday.
“The Omani rial is quite strong presently, making it cheaper for companies to buy products from the global market. The 14 baiza rise in the diesel price can be compensated since the Omani rial has been going up in the recent months,” said Ahmed Al Hooti, a member of the OCCI.
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His reaction came after certain companies decided to raise the prices of essential commodities, even though the government did not increase the diesel prices significantly.
“Why don’t the companies follow the government’s example and start reducing their expenses,” said Al Hooti. As the government has taken a number of measures to cope with the current financial situation, many feel that it’s time the private sector followed in the government’s footsteps.
He added that the government has always stood by the private sector companies and it is their time to reciprocate now.
Meanwhile, the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) confirmed that it was keeping the market under a stringent control with various field inspections being carried out in different governorates of the Sultanate.
The PACP also stressed that any attempt to increase prices of any market products, without obtaining an approval from the concerned authorities, will face legal action.
An official from Lulu said even though they will not pass on the burden to the customers, they may be forced to do so if the suppliers increased the price. “We can expect a slight price hike in the coming days if the suppliers increase the price,” Raison Francis, marketing and promotions in Lulu Hyper market Oman, said.
Moosapeta Sridhar, CEO of Khimji Ramdas Consumer Products Group, which is managing SPAR supermarkets in Oman, said they have no choice but to increase their prices if suppliers charge more from SPAR.
“No matter how much the fuel prices rise, people will still consume food. We are here to serve the people by providing essentials, food included. If the suppliers increase their price, we have no option but to do likewise. But we do not intend to do so without the permission of the Public Authority for Consumer Protection,” he said.
Shahnawaz Khan, marketing manager at the Dubai-based Fine Fare Food Market LLC, which manages Al-Fair supermarkets in Oman, told the Times of Oman that “Al-Fair does not foresee any changes in local prices due to the increased fuel prices in Oman.”
Khan added that as far as Al-Fair’s local distribution was concerned, fuel cost was a very small part of its warehousing and logistics expenses, which account for around three percent of sales value.