Jordan.. High prices ignite markets in Ramadan

Amman – Khaled Suleiman, a cleaner in the Greater Amman Municipality – the Jordanian capital – joins his colleagues on their break to browse the offers of consumer goods discounts, whose prices are "exploding" in Ramadan, according to Suleiman, who supports a family that includes 3 university students and two students in the basic stage, with no income. exceeds $560.

Estimates of poverty in Jordan vary between 25%, according to government figures, and more than 35%, according to civil society organizations.

Suleiman – who seems to be a careful observer of the market movement – says that he bought a kilo of lentils in the month of Ramadan for a dinar and 10 piasters ($1.6), while its price did not exceed 75 piasters last year, which means a jump that prepares for low incomes, and calls for government intervention to curb price escalation. .

The government estimates that tax revenues will rise to 696 million dinars, or 11.7%, compared to last year. The budget for 2023 amounted to 11.4 billion dinars, and the volume of public revenues amounted to 9.5 billion dinars, with a deficit of about 1.8 billion dinars.

Suleiman adds to Al-Jazeera Net that "the rise in prices reaches its peak in Ramadan, and whatever we boycott of products, commodities and vegetables, we will eventually have to buy," enumerating items whose prices rose in the market and he was forced to buy them, such as milk, cheese, detergents and supplies.

Trader Abu Ahmed acknowledges the fact that the prices of some basic materials have risen in his shop, but he links the increase in some commodities to the increase in their prices globally, and the monopoly of major merchants on certain items, in addition to the reflection of the price increase after the Russian-Ukrainian war early last year.

Since the beginning of the month of Ramadan, the majority of Jordanians have complained about the high prices of many basic commodities, such as vegetables, chicken and red meat, which prompted the Ministry of Industry and Trade to put ceilings on chicken prices after it issued hundreds of fines against merchants who saw the holy month as a season for profit.

In response to the price hike, the media advisor to the National Society for Consumer Protection, Hussein Al-Amoush, called on Jordanians to boycott the purchase and consumption of high-priced commodities.

Al-Amoush told Al-Jazeera Net that some merchants are taking advantage of the citizens' need during the blessed month of Ramadan, and they are also taking advantage of the weakness of control and the official authorities' refusal to allow imports to fill the shortage of some commodities, calling on the official authorities to take decisive measures to relieve citizens and put an end to some greedy merchants.

Jordan: The living difficulties of Jordanians multiply during Ramadan
The government estimated that tax revenues increased by 11.7% compared to last year (Al-Jazeera)

Rationalization of purchase and rationality of the boycott

Meanwhile, the difficult economic conditions experienced by the Jordanian citizen, in addition to the successive rises in the prices of commodities and supplies, with the stability of wages and salaries, contributed to weakening the purchasing power, according to what experts say to Al Jazeera Net.

For Al-Amoush, the rationalization and rationality of purchasing, and the behavior of boycotting high commodities, is the most eloquent response to the behavior of monopolists and everyone who exploits people's needs, in addition to strengthening the behavior of the productive family, and motivating them to exploit every meter of land by agriculture to reduce the shopping bill.

And the National Society for Consumer Protection provided Al-Jazeera Net with a field comparative study that dealt with the changes that occurred in the prices of 35 basic commodities before Ramadan, compared to their prices after 10 days had passed, in which it confirmed the high prices of 22 basic commodities, by 23.8% for vegetables.

The study included red meat (an increase rate of 16.6%), white meat (an increase rate of 6.25%) and some food supplies such as sugar, rice, eggs, milk and cheese for Qatayef and sweets in varying proportions.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Industry and Trade prepared a comparative study of the prices of 155 ration commodities during last March compared to last February, and it showed a decrease in the prices of 9 commodities, most notably table eggs by 3%-4%, and varieties of meat by 5%.

The study showed an increase in the prices of 10 commodities, most notably fresh chicken, by rates from 8% to 12%, where price ceilings were imposed, which led to their stability – according to the government study – and some types of meat between 4% and 5%, and some varieties of vegetables between 6% and 25%. .

For its part, the ministry asserts that "prices are much lower compared to the same period last year, by no less than 10%."

In turn, the head of the Jordan and Amman Chambers of Commerce, Khalil Al-Hajj, confirms that no imported food commodity has risen, and tells Al-Jazeera Net that the prices of the Jordanian food basket this year are better than their prices last year.

Jordan: The living difficulties of Jordanians multiply during Ramadan
The difficult economic conditions experienced by the Jordanian citizen contributed to weakening the purchasing power (Al-Jazeera)

High prices of local products

Al-Hajj limits the rise in the prices of fresh items that are produced locally, such as cucumbers, chicken and red meat, and says that the reason for this is "limited production and great demand," stressing the existence of alternatives in the market.

He added, "With the end of the Corona pandemic, restrictions on exports in the world ended, and the private sector was able to provide the needs of the local market, and from different origins and alternatives, which was reflected in the prices of the consumer's food basket, which decreased by about 10%."

For his part, the media spokesman for the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply, Yanal Al-Baramawy, told Al-Jazeera Net that the food stock is "very safe and comfortable" and that the sufficiency period for wheat reaches 13 months.

Al-Baramawy enumerated the circumstances that he believes contributed to the decline and stability of prices for several months, including the decline in global oil derivatives prices, the recovery phase in the global economy after the Covid-19 pandemic, the return of production and the availability of commodities, the most important of which are food and basic commodities.

Al-Baramawy adds that since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan until last Tuesday, 367 monitoring tours were carried out in the markets in various governorates, through which 5 thousand commercial stores were visited, which resulted in the seizure of 314 catering violations, including 58 violations for non-compliance with the price ceilings set for chicken. Most of the violations were "not announcing prices."

The penalty for violations of the price ceilings shall not be less than one thousand dinars, and up to 3 thousand dinars, or by imprisonment for a period of no less than two months, and up to 6 months, or with both penalties together.

Raad al-Tal, a professor of economics at the University of Jordan, believes that the rise in prices comes within the framework of the macroeconomic policy of the Jordanian state, and from the perspective of aggregate demand as a main engine for economic growth.

The main generator of growth

Al-Tal details his vision of Al-Jazeera Net by saying that one of the most important factors for economic growth is the amount of demand, and one of the most important pillars of demand is private consumption by individuals, but high prices and increased taxes limit aggregate demand, given that spending is the main generator of economic growth, just like investment spending generated by the private sector. Or government spending on capital projects.

He asserts that the rise in prices puts restrictions on this spending or the aggregate demand in the economy, which causes a slowdown in the movement of economic growth and reduces its speed. The solution – according to what Al-Tal sees – is to increase people's incomes, which will produce an increase in aggregate demand, and will lead to stable levels of prices, in addition to reducing the tax on individual incomes.

Achieving the desired economic growth – in Al-Tal's view – means the need to control and control prices, "so that we can achieve an increase in aggregate demand, in a way that serves the primary goal of the vision of economic modernization, which is to increase economic growth to the required numbers."

Since Samir Al-Rifai's government decided in early 2011 to increase the salaries of employees and retirees by 20 dinars per month ($28), employees' salaries have remained the same, while prices and taxes continue to rise successively.

Want to get worth reading articles in your email? want to catch what's going on in the world?

We do not spam but sent you only important news stories 🙂

News Agencies

About Author

The latest news from the News Agencies

You may also like

Saudi Arabia imposes curfew

Saudi Arabia imposes curfew due to coronavirus in Makkah and Madina

Saudi Arabia’s government has decided to impose a 24-hour curfew in Makkah and Madina while tightening precautionary measures for the
saudi royal family

Dozens of Saudi royal family infected with coronavirus: report

Riyadh: 150 members of the Saudi royal family have been diagnosed with Coronavirus.   According to a US newspaper The