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Commission CEO Engages With Communities

Commission CEO Engages With Communities
Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission chief executive officer Joel Abraham.
September 06
10:00 2018

Residents of Vitogo Village in Lautoka and Narewa Village in Nadi got the opportunity to discuss key consumer issues with the Fijian Competition & Consumer Commission during talanoa sessions organised in the respective villages earlier this week.

The sessions which ais part of FCCC’s community engagement and education programme that forms a platform for the villagers to gain insights on their rights and responsibilities as a consumer.

Their roles and functions and the complaints handling procedure of FCCC.

Increasing cost of living

During the talanoa sessions chief executive Joel Abraham explained the issue of increasing cost of living and how the issue can be tackled by consumers.

He informed the villagers as to how FCCC contributes to the affordable cost of living in Fiji through price regulations.

Mr Abraham explained that the price of certain items fluctuates due to number of reasons, such as, the importation cost, processing cost, cartage cost and so forth.

He stated that Fiji has been classified as the price taker rather than price setter, as majority of the items are imported in Fiji.

For example, products such as rice, wheat and split peas are not grown locally but they are imported, processed, packed and retailed locally in Fijian supermarkets.

He stated that due to various associated costs which are taken into consideration while price authorisation is done, the prices of the items fluctuates.

He informed the villagers that while the prices of items at times increases, it also decreases as well.

This is again based on the international prices of items which are beyond Fiji’s control.

However, FCCC continues to look for best practices for pricing to ensure consumer affordability.

Mr Abraham informed the villagers that they can tackle increasing costs by being a smart and informed consumer, through shopping around and comparing prices of items before making a purchase.

Mr Abraham reminded consumers that they should not be swayed by wrong information

regarding pricing of goods.

Further, emphasis was placed on the importance of receipts.

The villagers were reminded that receipts act as a prove of purchase and ensures that traders who charge VAT issue receipts for tax purposes.

Also, receipts should be retained in case a redress will need to be sought.

The Turaga Ni Mataqali and Mata ni Tikina Nadi, Isaia Saukuru said that the session was very informative as they got the opportunity to know their rights and responsibilities as a consumer.

He further stated that the villagers were very appreciative that the Mr Abraham took his time out to come and sit with the villagers and share information and discuss their issues directly.

With the five-year strategic plan in place, FCCC is effectively working towards auctioning the goals outlined.

This encompasses creating a well informed and fair market place for all Fijians.

As such more community outreach programmes will be done going forward.

Advice from FCCC

FCCC encourages communities and villages to be forthcoming and attend such forums which can allow them to learn the rights and responsibilities as a consumer.

And at the same time get to learn how FCCC can assist them with their grievances. Community Advisory Councilors and Village Headman’s are encouraged to contact FCCC if they wish to have a community session in their area.



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