Price Control Act sees better compliance

The Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy through the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs has recorded a 4.8 per cent increase in the rate of compliance with the Price Control Act for the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

Businesses are encouraged to maintain a high level of compliance with the relevant price control laws.

The period from January to June 2019 has seen a decrease of 63 offences (comprising 23 compounds and 40 warning notices), compared to 89 offences recorded in the first six months of 2018. Among the most common offences recorded included selling cooking oil above the maximum prices and not displaying prices on items for sale.

Businesses are advised to adhere to the Price Control Act and its regulations by ensuring that controlled items are not sold above the maximum prices set by JPKE and other sector regulators, and to ensure that prices of goods are clearly displayed to uphold consumer welfare.

JPKE conducts frequent nationwide daily routine inspections under the Price Control Act to ensure businesses comply with the Act and its regulations.

Businesses are reminded of the benefits of practising self-compliance with the Price Control Act and its regulations, which include creating and maintaining a good business reputation and enhancing consumer loyalty that will lead to building a more sustainable domestic consumption and vibrant business environment in Brunei Darussalam.

Businesses are also encouraged to practice a healthy competition by offering competitive prices not exceeding the maximum prices set for the 11 items listed under the Price Control Act, including cooking oil and powdered infant formula.

Meanwhile, prices for goods not included in the Price Control Act are subject to the market forces of demand and supply.

It is important for businesses to take appropriate measures to ensure they comply with the Price Control Act and its regulations. Repeated offences may result in the issuance of a compound of not more than BND1,000. For subsequent offences, a maximum fine of BND20,000 and imprisonment of up to five years may be issued by the court.

Members of the public are urged to practice the concept of ‘Smart Consumer’ in their spending by comparing prices before making any purchase to get the best value for money.

The public can download the PenggunaBijak/SmartConsumer mobile application that has the functions of, among others, allowing price comparisons for selected daily necessities, a list of businesses offering sales and discounts, as well as an updated list of maximum prices for price controlled items under the Price Control Act.

For information, contact the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs at 2230223 (office hours), Darussalam line 123, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.depd.gov.bn/cad. They can also visit the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs, Department of Economic Planning and Development, Room 3.06, Level 3, West Wing Block 2A, Jalan Ong Sum Ping.