King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia ordered this week an increase of 50% in the subsidy of cattle feed in an effort to avoid extreme price hikes.
The king also ordered related departments to strictly monitor the cattle feed markets and hand maximum punishment to any trader who attempts to hike the fodder prices unreasonably, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry issued a strong warning to those attempting to hoard barley with the intention of creating artificial scarcity and spiral the market price.
The ministry also directed provincial officials to step up inspections and take strong deterrent penal measures against those who attempt to hike prices.
The punishments include shuttering shops, defamation of the trader in three mass-circulation local newspapers at the expense of the violator, and depriving their right to government subsidy besides heavy fine.
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