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5 Traders Fined For Price Gouging

Fiji Commerce Commission has fined five traders for limiting supply, overcharging and conditional sale. A Navua trader was spot fined $2000 for two offences, a supermarket and three hardware companies
05 Mar 2016 11:31
5 Traders Fined For Price Gouging
Fiji Commerce Commission chief executive officer Bobby Maharaj.

Fiji Commerce Commission has fined five traders for limiting supply, overcharging and conditional sale.

A Navua trader was spot fined $2000 for two offences, a supermarket and three hardware companies were fined $3000 for price gouging.

FCC chief executive officer Bobby Maharaj has urged Fijians to call him directly on his mobile- 9000771 or to email him on ceo@commcomm.gov.fj to lodge complaints about unscrupulous traders.

Mr Maharaj said the Commission was receiving daily complaints that traders were taking advantage of Fijians affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston by raising prices of items, and by imposing conditional sale.

He said in the case of the Navua trader, he had imposed a condition that sugar would only be sold if the customer purchased more than $5 worth of other groceries. The same trader was also fined for unfairly increasing the price of sugar.

“Such traders will face the full brunt of the law if found to be unfairly price gouging, limiting supplies or engaging in conditional sale. If a supermarket is selling salt, they cannot place a condition on how many packets of salt could be bought by a customer.

“Similarly, traders cannot demand that butter would only be sold if bread is bought together with it.”

The Commerce Commission Decree of 2010, which was brought into effect by the Bainimarama Government, is clear on the severe fines that could and would be imposed on traders engaging in such activities.

MUST READ

Commerce Commission Decree 2010
The Fiji Commerce Commission (“Commission”) is empowered under Section 59 of the Commerce Commission Decree 2010 (“CCD2010”) to impose spot fines for offences under CCD2010. The spot fines are applicable for offences under Section 52 on Prohibited Acts, Section 54 on Prices to be Indicated, Section 55 on Invoice and Section 56 on Records.

– s52 (a) and (b): Selling Price Control Items at prices above the maximum prices authorised by the Commission. Commonly known as overcharging- $100- $1000/Offence fine for natural person/entities and $100- $3000/offence for corporate body(s).

– s52(c): Applying different methods of fixing or ascertaining the prices of goods or services with intent to evade the provisions of CCD2010.- $1000/Offence fine for natural person/entities and $3000/offence for corporate body(s).

– s52 (d): Sell or agree to sell any goods or provide or offer to provide any service subject to a condition requiring the buying of any other goods or the provisions of any
other services. Commonly known as Conditional Sale/ Bundling/Tying.- $1000/Offence fine for natural person/entities and $3000/offence for corporate body(s).

Edited by Filipe Naigulevu

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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