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Price Inspection For Traders In West

Price Inspection For Traders In West
April 21
11:00 2018

The Fijian Competition and Con­sumer Commission (FCCC) will mobilise a team in the Western Division for a week to undertake in­spections of traders and businesses.

This exercise is to ensure compli­ance by the traders and businesses to the Fijian Competition and Con­sumer Commission Act 2010 (FCCC Act 2010).

The inspections will be done in are­as affected by the recent floods caused by Tropical Cyclone Josie and Keni, to minimise the chances of unethical market practices.

From Monday April 23, 2018 to Fri­day April 27, 2018 a team from the Central Division will be conducting price inspections, monitoring and simultaneously conducting trader awareness in Sigatoka, Nadi, Lauto­ka, Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki.

“It has been noted in the past that post natural disasters, the prices for goods and/or services increased where businesses seem to increase sale prices to cover loss and/or short­age of supply,” the commission said in a statement.

“The Commission also notes that some businesses try to recover their losses by selling goods affected by the floods to unsuspecting consumers, without clearly disclosing that the goods were affected by natural disas­ters.

“Businesses may engage in such ac­tions with a view to maximise their profit while ensuring to recover the loss, however, in doing so, people, par­ticularly those who were less fortu­nate, struggle to make ends meet.

“Members of the public have often voiced their concerns via social me­dia and media outlets regarding trad­ers tremendously increasing prices of items sold in the shops post natu­ral disasters such as cyclones and hurricanes.”

The Commission, through this pro­active measure, intends to ensure that despite the situation at hand, traders do not breach the law provi­sions in place by engaging in unethi­cal acts.

It will also inspect prices of items under price control to ensure traders are in compliance.

The list of items under price control need to be sold at the respective au­thorised prices.

“Natural disasters do not mean that the prices of basic food items, partic­ularly those controlled by FCCC can be hiked,” the Commission said.

Furthermore, traders will be in­formed to avoid profiteering and price gouging.

While FCCC’s role is not to stop price increases which occur follow­ing supply constraints caused by natural disasters such as cyclones, rather, it is to ensure that businesses do not make misleading claims when they attribute any price increases to such a situation in a bid to artificially raise prices.

The conduct of misleading and de­ceiving consumers is contrary to Sec­tion 75 of the FCCC Act 2010.

Where such conduct occurs, the commission has the power to issue warning notices, infringement notic­es, impose penalties of up to $50,000 and prosecute traders accordingly.

The FCCC is of the view that such an initiative will boost trader con­fidence in doing business ethically, which will eradicate and minimise unfair trade practices.

The initiative is also in line with FCCC’s “Strategic Goal 2” which is “ensuring that all Fijians are offered goods and services that are safe and are provided with adequate and accu­rate information about the goods and services”.

A similar activity will take place in the Northern Division next month.

Source: Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission

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