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Shop Owners Concerned At Illegal Canteens

Shop Owners Concerned At Illegal Canteens
A customer buying groceries from a canteen operating from a home in Lautoka .
January 08
13:28 2019

 

A Concern has been raised by some shop owners in a Lautoka suburb over the illegal operating of canteens from homes.

A shopkeeper, who did not wish to be named, said the illegal canteens have openly displayed the price of goods.

The shopkeepers are up in arms because these canteens had applied for business licenses from the Lautoka City Council to sell kava.

They were now actually selling groceries and dry goods.

“Our problem is that we pay all the taxes, the high license renewal each year and virtually follow the law and these things are allowed to happen,” a shop owner said.

He said their business had been impacted by these new “home shops” who operate under the license to sell kava.

Lautoka City Council Chief Executive Officer Jone Nakauvadra said some people had applied for license under Government’s SME’ programme.

“However selling of such good was prohibited under the license they received and we will investigate this,” Mr Nakauvadra said.

Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission Chief Executive Officer Joel Abraham said this was something for the issuing business license authority, in this case the LCC to look into.

“The Minister for Local Government (Premila Kumar) who is also the Minister for Trade is the best person to answer,” Mr Abraham said.

“As long as it is lawful we welcome good competition as this leads to price reduction provided they operated within the law,” he said.

Another shopkeeper said some of these home canteens could sell goods at a greater reduced price as they had little overheads to worry about.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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