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15 shops shut for hiking prices after VAT amid crackdown

Fifteen shops in Abu Dhabi were shut down in January for unjustifiably hiking the prices of goods after the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT), officials said yesterday.
The Department of Economic Development, DED, shut down the commercial facilities as part of the department’s efforts to follow up on the implementation of the circulars issued earlier regarding the utilisation of the VAT, the department said in a media statement.

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The news of the government’s crackdown comes as Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection, is set to be quizzed on February 27 by members of the Federal National Council on the illegal practices of some unscrupulous businessmen who raised prices more than the five per cent VAT.
Ahmad Yousuf Al Nuaimi, who will question the minister, will also ask about the measures taken by the Ministry of Economy to curb any abnormal price rises that may occur.

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Ahmed Tarish Al Qubaisi, acting director of the Commercial Protection Administration, said that the DED had conducted 98 campaigns and 3,520 inspections in January.
As a result of these inspections, 85 tickets were issued against those facilities that collected VAT without being registered in the tax system of the Federal Tax Authority and increased prices excessively for the period preceding the implementation of the tax by checking the previous bills.
The DED also received 505 complaints during January. Al Qubaisi called upon the consumers to contact the DED through the Contact Centre of the Abu Dhabi Government in case they detect any explicit violations in VAT implementation.

Source: Gulf News

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