Manama : The Prime Minister His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa yesterday instructed the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry to monitor commodity prices against manipulation by traders.
The Premier’s instructions came while chairing the weekly Cabinet meeting at Gudaibiya Palace yesterday in the presence of the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
According to reports, some shops were reportedly hoarding certain products in anticipation of the implementation of the unified GCC selective taxation system in the next few weeks. Prices of energy drinks, tobacco products and soft drinks are expected to double once the tax is implemented.
Cabinet General Secretary Dr. Yasser bin Isa Al Nasser confirmed in a statement yesterday that the Prime Minister gave the directives to the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry to tighten the price control mechanism by monitoring monopoly pricing, import of foodstuffs as well as preventing hoarding and violation of the competition rules.
The directive comes after the ministry said on Sunday that 21 individuals in charge of cold stores and shops in different areas in the Kingdom are facing legal accountability for violating consumer protection law in Bahrain.
The Consumer Protection Directorate in the Ministry confirmed that the cases were referred to the Public Prosecution, as the shops were “proven to store and refrained from selling cigarettes to the public”.
DT News reported earlier that many local shops have been reportedly hoarding cigarettes and energy drinks in the past few weeks, ahead of the imposition of the new taxes (100 per cent) on certain products.
Iran’s meddling condemned
The Cabinet meeting chaired by HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has welcomed the resolutions adopted on Iran’s interference and threats to the region at the meeting of the Arab League’s extraordinary session held in Cairo. The session condemned Iran’s interference in Arab countries’ internal affairs as well as its support for terrorism, stressing that putting an end to such meddling by Tehran has become an urgent necessity to rid the region of violence, sectarianism, instability and attempts to subvert security.
HRH Premier has sought reports from ministers on what has been implemented so far regarding the needs of the citizens of the regions, which they have visited upon his directives, stressing the importance of meeting the needs of the citizens across towns and villages.
The Cabinet has approved a memorandum presented by the Executive Committee, chaired by HRH the Crown Prince, to promote growth in commercial activities, encourage the flow of investments and stimulate various value-added projects by continuing the development of the Commercial Registration Portal (SIJILAT) through further facilitation and coordination with regard to licenses required by various stakeholders. In this regard, the cabinet called on all parties to coordinate with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism in advance should they need to review the requirements for licensing business in “Sijilat” system.
The session reviewd the engineering, technical and executive steps taken so far, upon HRH Premier’s directives, to transfer the pane fuel tanks from their current site in Arad to the Bahrain International Airport.