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Ration card system to combat price hikes.

JEDDAH: The government is making arrangements to implement a ration card system that includes all government-subsidized basic goods. This was reported by an Arabic newspaper.

The project aims to facilitate the purchase of goods for each family based on its requirements, for consumers to get the maximum benefit of subsidies and to increase their purchasing power.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is studying the project. Officials from the ministry visited other countries implementing the system, such as Kuwait. They studied the benefits of ration cards and ways to implement the system.

Kuwait's Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh said his Saudi counterpart Tawfiq Al-Rabea will visit Kuwait to get acquainted with the country's ration card system and cooperatives. The previous official visit to Kuwait was carried out by a delegation headed by the Commerce Ministry's undersecretary for consumer affairs.

Kuwait's ration card system covers all citizens without exception and ration for each family is determined based on the number of its members. The system allows citizens to benefit from subsidies on basic commodities. When a family exceeds its quota of ration, it pays the normal market price for the additional goods.

The new card would be used in supply centers and in cooperatives if they are introduced in Saudi Arabia.

The project is expected to be jointly carried out by the ministries of Commerce and industry, Finance and Economy and Planning.

The issue of price hikes in Saudi markets emerges from time to time according to the fluctuations of global prices of several goods. Recently poultry prices rose globally affecting consumers locally. Observers say that a ration card system would be an ideal way to deal with price hikes.

Copyright: Arab News 2012 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:7KUWA
Date:Oct 16, 2012
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