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Saudi Arabia

Traders use holy month to clear stock

Economists say the authorities need to introduce stringent controls to root out greedy traders selling goods at high prices, or past their expiry date during Ramadan.
They say these traders target illiterate and poor people with their unscrupulous business activities, particularly at small markets across the city.
Abdul Rahman Al-Atta, an economist, said some traders use Ramadan to sell canned and other items stockpiled during other months of the year.
These goods are sold at markets where there are few price and other controls.
He said traders come up with new and inventive ways every year to cheat customers and evade the law.
Abdul Rahman Bashen, president of Al-Shouroq Economic Studies in Jazan, said more action is needed to ensure quality products are sold at reasonable prices at local markets.
He said some traders would not hesitate to sell goods past their expiry date, at low prices. These people are adept at getting away from the authorities.
Bashen said merchants are now using social networking sites to sell their goods during Ramadan. A recent study showed there is a 30 percent increase in the use of these sites in the Middle East during Ramadan.
The report also showed that consumption during Ramadan was the highest of all other months in nine Middle East countries.
According to reports, spending goes up 20 percent during the month of fasting. Businesses know this and launch many of their advertising campaigns during the month.
Economist Adel Halim agreed that some food companies try to exploit Ramadan to sell their goods. He said economic activity continues in Ramadan despite a perception that there is a slowdown at this time of the year.
He said many studies show that Ramadan can have an important positive impact on the brain, thought processes and the human body.

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