By Omar Obeidat

AMMAN –– In light of the energy, water and economic challenges facing the country, a national campaign was launched Saturday to urge Jordanians rationalise their consumption of several commodities and services.

Launched for the fifth consecutive year by the Consumer Protection Society (CPS) ahead of Ramadan, when food consumption increases by 35 per cent to 50 per cent, the campaign seeks to raise awareness on the need to curb consumption of food, electricity, water, fuel derivatives and mobile phone usage.

CPS president Mohammad Obeidat said this year’s campaign, titled “Rationalising consumption is the responsibility of everyone,” will focus on the importance of limiting consumption in light of the difficult economic conditions in Jordan as well as worldwide.

He noted that Jordanians should learn how to preserve the Kingdom’s resources, particularly since the country suffers from energy and water shortages.

Around 250,000 brochures to increase public awareness on curbing usage of water, electricity, fuel derivates, food and mobile calls will be distributed under the campaign, Obeidat noted, adding that the CPS will also post advertisements in daily newspapers and on electronic news websites.

He indicated that the society has prepared a plan to protect consumers’ rights in obtaining reasonably priced and high quality commodities at during the fasting month through working with government agencies and conducting studies on food prices and availability.

The CPS president also urged foodstuff importers and traders to take into consideration the difficult living conditions of Jordanians by offering goods at reasonable prices, particularly during Ramadan, which witnesses a rise in demand on commodities.

Attending the launch, Minister of State for Economic Affairs Mohammad Barakat Al Zuhair highlighted the need to curb the use of vital services as the government subsidises basic goods and services to reduce their costs to consumers.

Zuhair, also acting minister of industry and trade, said food security is a top government priority, highlighting the recent government decision to exempt and lower sales tax on 260 items and services.

Riad Saifi, president of the Amman Chamber of Commerce, said traders in Amman will work with the CPS to render the campaign a success, noting that the chamber also launched a campaign earlier this month to urge citizens limit their use of water and energy.