The Shura Council held Monday its regular weekly meeting under the chairmanship of HE Speaker of the Council Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim.
At the beginning of the session, HE Speaker of the Council briefed the members on his meeting with HE Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of the sisterly Republic of Turkey Mustafa Sentop and the accompanying delegation, as part of their visit to Doha, and the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Shura Council and the Turkish Grand National Assembly to increase parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.
In this context, HE Speaker of the Council referred to the importance of the relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Turkey, which was embodied in many situations and is appreciated. He stressed the need to activate the parliamentary friendship associations between the two sides to effectively strengthen the existing bilateral relations between the two countries.
In this regard, the Council praised this visit and the signing of the MoU between the two sides. The members of the council stressed that this step will contribute to strengthening parliamentary relations between the two brotherly countries. They pointed out that the mutual visits between the two sides are of great importance in consolidating friendship relations and establishing bilateral relations based on achieving common interests, which is in the interest of the two brotherly countries and people.
Afterward, HE Secretary-General of the Shura Council Dr. Ahmed bin Nasser Al Fadhala read out the agenda of the session. The minutes of the previous session were approved.
At the beginning of the deliberations, the Council discussed the inflation issue, the rise in the cost of living, and the increase in financial burdens on society, based on a request for general discussion submitted by several members.
HE Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim indicated that inflation has witnessed great jumps in the world during the last period, pointing to the importance of discussing the issue at the local level, given that it witnessed a great disparity compared to the countries of the region, and needs to take effective steps to address it.
His Excellency pointed out that inflation and price increases necessitate the Council to discuss its justifications to come up with positive and effective results and solutions.
He noted that the wrong consumption culture plays a major role in raising prices, stressing the need to spread awareness about consumption and reduce spending on luxury goods and services.
In turn, HE Deputy Speaker of the Shura Council Dr. Hamda bint Hassan Al Sulaiti said that inflation recently exceeded six percent, while it was expected that it would not exceed 2.5 percent, indicating that the high inflation rate requires studying the issue and considering the laws that were enacted by the state to regulate the market, prevent monopoly, protect the consumer, and regulate the work of commercial agents.
Her Excellency pointed to the significant rise in freight prices, which in turn affects prices, stressing in the same context the importance of determining the rental value and increasing subsidized food commodities according to the study of citizens' needs, opening the field for competition and reducing investment burdens, allowing the opening of shops under residential buildings, and increasing commercial streets, noting the need to inquire from the competent authorities about these points and determine the appropriate mechanism to deal with them.
The Council members explained that the issue of high prices and inflation is a global phenomenon, but it has become a prominent phenomenon in the Qatari society, reaching high levels without clear reasons.
They stressed the need to develop radical solutions to curb unjustified price increases and prevent monopolistic practices, in accordance with 19 of 2006 concerning the protection of competition and prevention of monopolistic practices.
The members of the Shura Council indicated that the state worked to achieve the well-being of citizens and raise their standard of living in the implementation of Article 28 of the permanent constitution of the State of Qatar. They pointed out that the steady rise in prices has become a threat to the standard of living and the prosperity of citizens.
The members of the Council stressed the importance of the national companies supported by the state to contribute to confronting this phenomenon, the need to reduce the monopoly of some companies on goods and services, increase the permissible licenses for shops, and change the uses of some lands and streets to commercial ones with taking into account the housing of families.
After extensive discussions on the subject, the Council decided to refer it to the Council's Financial and Economic Affairs Committee to study it and submit its views and proposals to the Shura Council.