Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has issued a decree to protect consumers by controlling prices and preventing fraud and monopolies from being established, his office said in a statement on social media.
The statement said Decree No. 8 of 2021 contains a "wide and stringent set of controls and penalties that regulates the commercial markets' movements, making price manipulation or fraudulent material a crime that requires imprisonment and paying a high fine together."
The statement described the decree as "an advanced legislative step to preserve [citizens'] livelihood", noting that in some cases, the penalties could reach up to seven years imprisonment with heavy fines.
According to the decree, the Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection should form a committee in each governorate whose task is to determine the prices of local materials, goods, and services.
The statement said the decree asks importers to keep data for imported materials and sellers to keep the purchase invoices, and also to organise invoices for their sales.