(MENAFN- The Peninsula) QNA
Doha: Shura Council has praised the government's plans and policies to address inflation by implementing a package of measures that contributed to reducing the impact of inflation, while making several recommendations to address the issue.
The Shura Council members stressed the need to carry out periodic reviews of the monetary policies and legislations along with subsidy measures and work on raising awareness among businesspersons and consumers, given their responsibility in contributing to addressing that issue.
They called on the concerned authorities to protect consumers and monitor the prices by intensifying their campaigns in the market, encouraging free competition and working to prevent monopoly, providing all means of support for the local products and providing it on a bigger scale in the local market as well as encouraging its export and support it to compete abroad.
This came in a regular weekly meeting of the Shura Council held yesterday at Tamim bin Hamad Hall under the chairmanship of Speaker of Shura Council H E Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim.
After reviewing the subject, members pointed to the need to increase street and commercial areas in various parts of the country, allowing wide options for merchants, lowering rental and real estate prices, and reducing production costs, leading to lower prices. They noted the need to support entrepreneurs, strengthen small and medium-sized companies, direct them to increase investment in the services and basic commodities sector, and avoid focusing on specific sectors with a consumption and entertainment pattern only.
The members drew attention to the role of civil society organisations in confronting excessive consumption by increasing consumer awareness and alerting them not to be led by advertising campaigns.
They also asked for more attention to basic commodities and food production sectors, support national factories, companies and farms, and to enhance their capabilities for external competition. The members noted that the competitiveness of the national product and increasing its sales in foreign markets contributes to promoting its distribution abroad and reducing its prices internally.
The members of the Shura Council attributed inflation to other external factors such as high transport and freight costs to record levels, high energy prices, and interruption of supply chains, praising the State's sound management of this file by taking several measures that contributed to maintaining the prices of fundamental goods needed by the consumer daily.
Meanwhile, during the session, the Council reviewed the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee's report on the request for general discussion submitted by Their Excellencies during the past legislative term regarding inflation, high cost of living, and increased financial burdens on citizens.
After extensive discussions, the Council decided to submit a proposal to the government on the issue.
In discussing the report, the Speaker of the Shura Council, H E Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim referred to the social and economic negative impacts of inflation and the high cost of living, which require the concerted efforts of all concerned parties to address that issue.
He added that given the importance of that issue, it was raised during the Council's first legislative term, when the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee, since the previous term under the chairmanship of H E Mohamed bin Yousef Al Mana, has made commendable efforts to study all the aspects of that issue.
The Speaker of the Shura Council indicated that the legislations enacted by the State to overcome the issues included within the request for discussion were tangible.
He reviewed the major laws in this regard, such as the law on protecting competition and preventing monopolistic practices and what the law stipulated in establishing a special committee to preserve competitiveness, along with other relevant legislations and laws. Al Ghanim stressed that raising the issue by the Shura Council is a continuation of the government's efforts to address those issues.
During his review of the report, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee H E Ahmad bin Hitmi Al Hitmi pointed out the meetings held by the committee to discuss the issue by inviting several officials from concerned authorities, as well as seeking the opinions and analysis of specialised academics, analysts, businessperson and citizens.
He indicated that the rise in prices included all sectors, with a noticeable increase in specific basic sectors, pointing out that other sectors were affected by that issue. Al Hitmi noted that these sectors are not considered essential in daily life, which calls for a change in the community's consumption pattern and culture.