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Price Control Hotline Re-Launched

By RIEL MAJOR

Tribune Staff Reporter

rmajor@tribunemedia.net

THE Price Commission has relaunched its 24-hour hotline in an effort to combat serious breaches of the Price Control Act and announced its partnership with the National Emergency Management Agency to ensure consumers aren’t taken advantage of this hurricane season.

At a press conference held at the Department of Labour yesterday, Price Commission chairman Daniel Sumner said the agency intends to update the public about ongoing efforts to protect consumers. He said: “Currently the Price Commission falls under the carriage of the Ministry of Labour and has been given the mandate to serve and protect consumers from unfair prices charged by unscrupulous merchants. I have received numerous complaints from various consumers about a number of merchants committing alleged price infractions on the bread basket list of food items.

“These cases are considered to be serious breaches of the Price Control Act and the Price Commission is actively pursuing these matters in conjunction with the relevant law enforcement authorities and we wish to put merchants on notice that those found guilty will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

The chairman highlighted a few areas the commission will be closely monitoring and put merchants on notice. “We wish to assure the public that we here at the commission will be policing and watching out for any price gouging. The price commission is aware that over the years, the Bahamian public has become overwhelmed by the practice of price gouging by a small pocket of dishonest merchants,” Mr Sumner said.

“Price gouging has a penalty of a fine not exceeding $5,000 per item. Therefore, we are putting merchants on notice to ensure they have the correct prices on all food items that are available for sale to the public in their stores. Additionally, the Price Commission wishes to advise the public that it will continue to monitor and ensure the availability, quality and standards of breadbasket items.”

He added: “Another concern of the Price Commission is hoarding. The fine for hoarding (is) $2,500 per item...we are warning these food stores that the Price Commission will not stand by and allow the Bahamian people to be taken advantage of.”

Comments

The_Oracle 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Hoarding, hmm, as in beefing up inventory prior to a hurricane? And what of first cost price increases when other places get hit placing high demand on certain items? How is hoarding defined in this ludicrous exercise? The stupidity outlined above is laughable if it weren't so ignorant. And might price control look at the other side of the equation, praising those who do not gouge? or is its edict to just demonize the merchants with a broad brush? Pray they beef up inventory pre hurricane, although with the act giving government the power to appropriate inventories if the minister deems appropriate, with terms for repayment to follow a merchant would be as much of an idiot.

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hrysippus 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I got 6 can of corn beef in my cupboard, can I be arrested for hoarding?

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TheMadHatter 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I have heard that because Jesus had TWELVE disciples, you are allowed to possess up to 12 cans of corned beef - no more. Gotta check if one a dem Cabinet members got shares in fishing supply store - cause dis sound like we gotsta buy fishing hook and line.

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