Enas Shri wrote in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper:
There is conflicting information in Lebanon about the decline in the prices of basic goods consumed by citizens, against the backdrop of the decline in the dollar price against the Lebanese pound on the black market, which indicates a battle between Lebanese merchants and authority, which, through the Ministry of Economy, carries out the tasks of pursuing criminals with the aim of lowering commodity prices.
Although the Union of Food Importers has announced that it is about to re-examine food prices, and that the Ministry of Economy has toured the shops after requesting price lists from traders to ensure prices have been reduced, citizens are claim that prices of basic goods and materials are still high, and that the decline has only occurred in a very limited group. From these materials. The shopkeepers reiterate that most of the materials have not fallen in price, and that what has fallen in price are specific types of cheeses, grains and cleaning materials, referring to the availability of food basket materials with subsidized in more sizes than before.
The Director General of the Ministry of Economy, Muhammad Abu Haidar, does not deny that the price decline did not extend to all commodities and food, as some were “originally priced at a non-dollar exchange rate more than 7000 ”. However, in an interview with Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, he refers to the decline in the number’s prices. The most of the basic items like milk and cheese, which fell by 8 to 10 percent, cleaning materials between 12 and 18 percent, as well as 50 percent meat, as well as chicken and eggs, emphasizing that Most foodstuffs in the market are now valued at an exchange rate to the dollar. It ranges between 6800 and 7000 liras.
Abu Haidar mentions that the ministry is continuing with its mobile phones to commercial stores and that these missions will intensify in the upcoming phase, noting that it has referred 67 merchants to the Financial Public Prosecution, in terms of information for smuggling or monopoly operations.
The head of the Food Importers Syndicate, Hani Bohsali, considers that the items whose price should fall have actually fallen, that is, those priced at an exchange rate in excess of 7,000 Syrian pounds. For the goods that were originally valued at an exchange rate not exceeding this limit, it has not been. Its price is falling.
He points out that the decline in commodity prices requires serious stability in the dollar exchange rate, noting that when the Food Importers Union announced it would re-examine the price of some materials, the dollar exchange rate was 6300, and today it is about 7300 lbs per dollar, because the decline and rise of the dollar is not based on an economic Basis that contributes to stability, but on an optimistic or pessimistic climate that the trader cannot rely on, as he wants to maintain its survival, and by this ensures that when it sells a particular product it can buy another for the same amount, which also ensures that the materials are not disturbed.
Market prices do not appear to have fallen, and Vice President of the Consumer Protection Association, Nada Nehme, claims that it is never possible to talk about a price decline with the decline in the dollar price, to ‘ conversely, there are some commodities that have witnessed significant price increases that reached doubling, such as chilled fish, he notes in an interview. With “Asharq Al-Awsat”, there are some brands of food group, such as cheeses, which saw a very small drop in prices, along with an increase in other brands of the same product, as well as the case with cleaning equipment.
Nehme highlighted that, in addition to noting the price rise with the dollar’s decline, the Consumer Protection Association numbers clearly show the difference between points of sale, reflecting the chaos in the markets and requiring strict control, explaining that the Consumer Protection Association list includes the most commonly used goods and materials, a basket of 145 products.
Source: Middle East