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Ministry’s new fish-pricing mechanism draws mixed reactions from consumers

Ministry’s new fish-pricing mechanism draws mixed reactions from consumers

Meriam Jelliti
Doha
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s (MoCI) new pricing mechanism for fish has generated mixed response from consumers.
According to the new pricing policy, which came into effect on Sunday, the MoCI’s Quantitative Licence and Market Department issues daily price bulletins specifying retail prices of various varieties of fish with regard to their size (small, medium and big). The prices are decided based on the auctions conducted under the supervision of the ministry.
When queried by Qatar Tribune, most of the consumers supported the new pricing system, saying the prices were reasonable. Chawki, a consumer, said, “I am aware that the ministry has been issuing market prices for fish, and I think the prices are good for consumers. I know, a few markets used to sell “Nesser” for QR20 while it shouldn’t be more than QR10-15. I hope the new policy would eliminate monopoly in the fish market.”
Consumers also supported the MoCI’s decision to increase the number of inspections of fish stalls to ensure fair prices and quality of fish.
Rashid, another consumer, said, “If the ministry aims to eliminate overpricing in all products, I’m more than happy, because of late, I have seen the most shocking prices in fish markets. Now, some can afford the prices.”
On the other hand, some consumers expressed their disapproval, saying the ministry prices were way too high. One among them was Mohsna, who said, “I think the prices are very high. I come to the market every few days and I have never seen such high prices before.”
However, many consumers believe that the increase in fish prices is only temporary, and express hope that it will come down soon.
“I noticed last Wednesday that fish prices were very high, but today when I came back, the prices were different. I could definitely see the difference; I think the rates always vary depending on the market. I am sure, the prices will decrease in the coming days,” Said Mohammad, another consumer.
Through the pricing policy, the the Ministry of Commerce and Industry aims to protect consumers from any unjustified increases in fish prices.
All markets and merchants in the country are now bound to display the ministry’s price bulletin clearly for consumers, along with rate cards that show the type and price of fish, and give bill to customers.
The ministry has urged consumers to pay attention to the prices, ask for the bill and deal with licensed markets and merchants only.
It is worth noting that, after the blockade, the government has put enormous efforts, with the help of the private sector, to increase the volume of fish production in the country.
The initiative resulted in raising the volume of fish production to 15,000 tonnes, covering 80 percent needs of the market.

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