In view of the holy month of Ramadan, the Ministry of Economy’s office in the emirate and Ajman Municipality has intensified inspections to ensure that all outlets, including groceries, salons and maintenance service shops, are not increasing prices and charges.
The ministry’s office, in coordination with the municipality, has decided to unify the service charges taken by salons and AC maintenance shops. The decision came after inspectors found them charging different prices for the same services during surprise inspections. The ministry’s office has issued circulars to all salons in the emirate to bring their price lists to the office and the municipality to unify the charges.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Shaikh Sultan bin Saqr Al Nuaimi, Director of the ministry’s office in Ajman, said the inspections would continue throughout Ramadan and till Eid to ensure that traders and service providers are not exploiting the season and cheat customers. During the campaign, inspectors would first issue warning notices and then impose fines if the traders or service providers are found ignoring the price lists issued by the Consumer Protection Department of the ministry and charging customers according to their whim.
As of Tuesday, the ministry’s office in Ajman has received over 300 complaints from consumers about charging exorbitant rates by groceries, AC maintenance shops, bridal gown shops, travel agencies, building maintenance companies, spare parts and mobile phone outlets.
The inspections, which started on July 1, have been intensified round the clock in the fruits and vegetables market, wholesale market and meat market.
Shaikh Al Nuaimi said the ministry’s office in coordination with the municipality has chalked out a plan to monitor the groceries to ensure that they are not selling food products at inflated prices during the holy month. Several consumers have complained that groceries are flouting the consumer protection rules and selling food products usually consumed during the holy month at high prices. It has been noticed that the groceries in residential areas are buy food products from the wholesale market at low prices and selling them at higher prices to pocket huge profits.
Yahya Al Reyaysa, Director-General of the Ajman Municipality, said municipal inspectors would intensify inspections at restaurants and food outlets to ensure that they are strictly following the hygiene conditions during the holy month. “The civic body carries out these inspections throughout the year, but only intensifies the campaign in Ramadan,” he said.
The inspectors will also focus on abattoirs and fish markets, as well as small traditional food shops. Al Reyaysa also said that inspectors and supervisors move around the city during the daytime in Ramadan to ensure that all restaurants and cafes are closed. “Ramadan is the month of fasting and it’s illegal to eat, drink or smoke in public from sunrise to sunset during this period,” he pointed out.