Posted on: Friday 20 July, 2012 2:53
|Govt workers spend 60% of salaries to meet Ramadan needs: Study
60 percent of Shaban salaries of government employees will be spent on buying goods for Ramadan, according to a recent study, said Abdul Aziz Al-Khudairi, a consumer's affairs expert.
"Toward the end of Shaban, one can see how stores get crowded, a fact which shows that most citizens don't have a savings plan and don't choose the best time to buy groceries and other necessities," said Al-Khudairi.
"Not planning one's shopping ahead of time gives merchants a chance to manipulate prices."
The volume of spending on advertisements and product promotion campaigns jumped to SR150 million last year and is expected to hit SR200 million this year, according to Khalaf Al-Shammary, former chairman of a committee on advertisement and publicity campaigns at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "Food and soft drinks revenue skyrocketed to SR1.6 billion in 2011," Al-Shammary added.
Al-Shammary said the average Saudi family's spending on products is increasing due to a lack of proper planning among family members.
"For example, the father spends money buying something his wife or daughter already bought without telling him. This increases the volume of spending and of course, the biggest winner are suppliers."
Al-Shammary said most merchants are focusing on getting the biggest chunk of the Kingdom's unemployment benefits program known as Hafiz.
Since the majority of Hafiz recipients are women, the monthly benefits have raised the volume of spending for women.
"Consumers should plan their purchases ahead of time and look for alternative products if the price of something they usually buy has increased. They (consumers) are the first line of defense. Then comes the regulations and legislations which protect consumers from unfair price hikes and substandard products," he added.
"To protect consumers' rights, the ministries of Commerce and Industry and Rural and Municipal Affairs should impose penalties within a week maximum of discovering a violation," said Al-Shammary while calling for updating old regulations and legislations to better protect consumers' rights.