No shortage of essentials, prices stable

Muscat: There are enough stocks of basic food items and various consumer goods in the Sultanate, and work at air, sea and land ports is smooth as far as imports are concerned.

The Omani authorities are also in talks with traders and suppliers to ensure adequate supply in the market.

This was revealed at a meeting of government and private sector officials convened under the auspices of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to review the situation arising out of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in the Sultanate.

Supply of all essential food items and consumer goods is made available to consumers in coordination with the importers and cargo companies working in the sector, the meeting was told.

While addressing the meeting, Salim bin Ali al Hikmani, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Committee of the Majlis Al Shura said that there is no reason to worry about food stocks.

“There is assurance from the Public Authority for Stores and Food Reserve about adequate availability of basic food items and commodities as well as consumer goods in all the governorates”, he said.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been coordinating with several traders to buy more stocks and is providing storage space for free. The authorities concerned are also working on a programme for direct import from ports and airports under a well-studied plan to ensure good results.

Al Hikmani said that in addition to maintaining availability of essentials, measures are also in place to maintain price stability.

Briefing the meeting about the steps taken, Mubarak bin Mohammed Al Dawhani, Director General of Commerce at the ministry said that a working group has been formed to monitor the economic issues to to combat the supply situation arising out of the pandemic.

The group is headed by Ahmad bin Hasan al Theeb, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and representatives of a number of government and private sector organisations.

“The team is looking into everything aspect arising out of COVID-19. It is entrusted with taking appropriate measures to meet the needs of consumer goods and food products, in coordination with government and private sector organisations,” he said.

Dr Ahmed bin Abdul Karim Al Hooti, member of the Board of Directors of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and chairman of the chamber’s economic committee, said all-out efforts are being made by all the entities concerned to ensure supply of food and other items.

The ministry of agriculture and fisheries announced that the first cargo of fruits and vegetables arrived from India on Friday.

“This is the first among the three Oman Air flights to arrive as part of the agreements with a number of exporting countries,” a statement from ministry said.


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