Persons could be fined up to $2M for price gouging
The House of Parliament passed a resolution to combat price gouging, brought by State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green.
The Minister says the new resolution will regulate the sale of goods during the period of a Declaration of a Disaster Area and shall come into force on March 31, 2020.
“Prices of these items would have already entailed a profit margin and as such, for the Disaster Area Order and time period, we are saying that the retailers have to maintain those prices” the Minister stated in his presentation.
The offender under the new Order can be held criminally liable to a fine not exceeding two million dollars or to a term of imprisonment with or without hard labour not exceeding two years.
The Order; the Trade (Sale of Goods During Period of Declaration of Disaster Area) Order, 2020 details that no person whose business includes the retail sale of goods shall sell any necessary goods to another person at a price higher than the price charged immediately before the coming into force of the Disaster Risk Management (Declaration of Disaster Area) Order, 2020.
Under the Order, the Consumer Affairs Commission has been authorised to demand on behalf of the Minister, books, accounts or other documents relating to the business, to investigate claims of price gouging.
“I am making another call for consumers to make a report to the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) where they are experiencing unreasonable increase in the price of goods. The CAC also has an App in the Playstore where complaints can be made as well. Let’s work together to protect each other as we tackle this COVID-19 crisis,” he asserted.
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