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Sufficient food, essentials ensured for lockdown period

27 Jul 2020

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) in coordination with Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), local factories and suppliers has taken important measures for easy transit of goods and essential commodities between the various governorates, ensuring the availability of products during the lockdown across Oman. 

“All required items are being continuously and sufficiently supplied in the market. However, consumers should not go on a buying spree and take all preventive measures. All the shops and stores have consumer products sufficient for long periods,’ the MoCI stated. 

The measures taken by the ministry are within the framework of the precautionary and preventive measures approved by the Supreme Committee in charge of dealing with coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Mubarak bin Muhammad al Dohani, director general of Commerce, MoCI, said that all foodstuffs and consumer goods were available in the markets of the sultanate. The efforts are continuing to provide basic materials during the complete lockdown in the governorates of the sultanate from July 25 to August 8.

Dohani said that the ministry was taking all measures to ensure the supply of all necessary items in the local markets in the light of the decisions taken by the Supreme Committee.

He said, that to ensure the availability of basic commodities in all governorates during the lockdown, the ministry has issued a number of transit permits for commercial establishments and companies which are engaged in activities related to foodstuff and cooking gas, besides oil tankers. 
 

“It is necessary that trucks weighing three tonnes or more move between governorates during the daytime only. The companies involved in these activities can obtain permits by contacting through phone numbers or the email address published on the ministry’s social media accounts to receive the permits. The arrangement has been made to make the work easy. The ministry has urged all these companies to abide by the timeframe and the items for which permits have been issued. They should not, in any case, use permits for purposes other than those for which they are issued.”.

The director general of Commerce also urged all consumers not to rush to buy more than their actual need. “People should only purchase the items which they need,” he said, adding that he appreciated the efforts of traders who are making the effort to provide food and basic materials during the last few months in all governorates of the sultanate.

Dr Ahmed bin Abdul Karim al Houti, member of OCCI and chairman of the Chamber’s Economic Committee, lauded the efforts made by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the chamber and its branches in various governorates to make the procedures for businessmen easy so that they can transport various food and consumer goods between governorates, without any hassles and avoid any shortage, especially during Eid al Adha.

Recently, the OCCI, in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, had asked traders to store basic materials which consumers would need during the lockdown between July 25 and August 8. It was also urged to find alternatives to ensure that there is no shortage of items of consumer needs in Oman. The chamber has also asked all to abide by the timeframe and the necessary precautionary measures in such circumstances, said Houthi.

He further said that the delivery of basic materials was most important, as in the case of some products, their expiry dates end within three to four days, such as bread and milk, etc. “Therefore, permissions for trucks weighing three tonnes are being given so that they can swiftly transport these products between governorates. Those who are involved in trading of such items are also being given stores by the government or the private sector. All sorts of facilities are also being provided at the ports and airports so that there is no hurdle in the arrival of items to the sultanate and their distribution in the markets of the country.”

Houti said that it was necessary for the goods to be of high quality and to be available at an affordable price. “OCCI will provide all facilities to ensure that the commodities and products which reach the consumers were healthy and of high quality. This is necessary as the country was passing through a pandemic.” He also urged all to abide by the precautionary measures in the shopping malls, use sanitisers, wear masks, and maintain at least two metres distance between each other.

“People should also reduce their frequency of visits to the markets, except if necessary,” he added.

“In this testing time, every individual and all public and public sector organisations should cooperate with each other. “This is necessary to make sure that these efforts are successful,” he said.

Sa’ed bin Abdullah al Kharusi, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Omani Farmers Association, also appreciated the efforts made by the government and private organisations to reduce the effects of the coronavirus. “These organisations are using all their material and human capabilities to supply all necessary items to the citizens. They are importing vegetables and fruits from many countries to maintain prices and supply,” he said.

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