NEWS

Price Of Food To Drop By August 1st: FCCC

The price regulator has vowed to clamp down on greedy traders who will look to rip off Fijians.
21 Jul 2020 11:49
Price Of Food To Drop By August 1st: FCCC
Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission chief executive officer Joel Abraham

Bread should be cheaper come August 1, 2020.

This is because the price of its raw ingredient(s), imported to Fiji, has decreased. And so should most products as items will have zero excise duties, a drop of more than 30 per cent.

This is just one example of what the removal of the duty means.

And the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission want the effect of the massive tax overhaul to flow down to consumers.

The price regulator has vowed to clamp down on greedy traders who will look to rip off Fijians.

COVID-19 pandemic has affected people globally. Locally, families have had to ensure job losses. A third of the national workforce is without work.

Commission chief executive officer Joel Abraham said: “The budget is people-centric and the measures for the general consumers are included, however, there is an anticipation that businesses will ethically conduct themselves to ensure that the reduction in duty is passed on to consumers. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.”

The Government has cut customs duties on more than 1600 items.

More than 1000 items will have duties decrease from five per cent or zero, and duty is falling from 32 per cent to 15 per cent on more than 500 items.

 

What this means

This means that the shopping basket of an individual Fijian would be bigger for the same price.

Mr Abraham said they had a task to see if the operators in this industry were pricing products that reflected the tax overhaul.

“We believe in a collaborative approach in ensuring the protection of rights of Fijian consumers,” he said.

“This exercise will require a thorough assessment of the supply chain to ensure that duty is passed from importer to wholesaler to retailer to Fijian consumers.

“For example, key ingredients in the manufacture of food products such as bread and biscuit will decrease come August 1 and we will need to monitor not only these key ingredients but also other inputs costs to ensure there are no artificial increases. This is a massive investigative exercise.”

Mr Abraham said because the tax overhaul of this nature is the biggest in Fiji, his office will be looking at how price changes in ingredients affect overall prices.

Key ingredients in the manufacture of food products such as bread and biscuit will decrease come August 1.

He said the National Budget 2020-2021 was designed to assist all Fijians, people and businesses alike.

He said exploitation of Government’s tax overhaul by greedy individuals and businesses would only hamper the real effect of the budget.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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