I thank and appreciate Dr. Qaiser Hamed Metawea for his very important article on the serious issue of price hikes in Ramadan (July 27). In his article, Dr. Metawea has rightly pointed out a serious problem that can be defined as a huge blunder and corruption in the Saudi market during this holy month. It is being observed by everyone that there has been a dramatic increase in the prices of essential goods, such as fruits and vegetables. He is absolutely right that Ramadan is the month of worshipping God and doing all types of good deeds, but unfortunately some greedy traders have neither fear of God nor the fear of law and respect for the orders and directions issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Increasing prices of goods during Ramadan by traders is a serious problem. Merchants are taking undue and unjust advantage of the high consumer demand of essential goods in the market by increasing the prices two or three times over as mentioned by the writer. Ironically, consumers have no other option but to purchase these essential goods for their survival and to fulfill their needs.
He has rightly said that “What is also of concern is that Muslims from all over the world come to Saudi Arabia during Ramadan to visit the two holy cities, Makkah and Madinah, and it creates a very bad image and impression of Saudi Arabia that in the land of the two holy cities there are greedy traders who try to take advantage of consumers during the holy month of Ramadan.”
I agree with his valuable suggestion that to overcome the problem of high prices of essential goods the ministry should appoint more officers to investigate instances of price hikes. Also, the ministry should take aggressive action against merchants who increase prices during Ramadan and it should make sure that they are severely punished to set an example for other greedy traders. Without taking harsh steps against these traders, the problem will remain unsolved and merchants will continue to loot public, and people will suffer a lot as they have no other option but to wait for the Day of Judgment when everyarticlebody will be rewarded or punished according to their deeds and noarticlebody will be spared on that day.