JPKE urges retailers to comply with maximum prices

The Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) of the Ministry of Finance and Economy through the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs has found that the rate of compliance with the Price Control Act has improved in July and August 2019 with only seven and two offences recorded compared to 22 and 14 offences for the same period last year.

Businesses are advised to ensure measures are in place in order to comply with the Price Control Act.

In the last two months, JPKE issued a compound of BND500 to three businesses, while another received a compound of BND700 for a repeated offence of selling cooking oil above the set maximum price.

The compounds were issued to business premises located in the Brunei-Muara District. Five warning notices were issued for price tagging offences and maximum price violations.

These offences were found during JPKE’s routine inspections in all districts to ensure businesses comply with the Price Control Act. JPKE’s Price Inspectors frequently advise businesses and educate consumers on the Act and its regulations, including the display of prices regulations and the cheap sale price regulations.

Businesses are reminded that self-compliance with the Price Control Act brings benefits including creating and maintaining a good business reputation and enhancing consumer loyalty. This can lead to building a more sustainable domestic consumption and vibrant business environment in Brunei.

Businesses are also advised to display prices on items to enable consumers to exercise their rights in making informed purchase decisions by comparing prices of goods. Price transparency promotes consumer welfare.

Businesses are encouraged to offer competitive prices not exceeding the set maximum prices for 11 items listed under the Price Control Act including cooking oil and powdered infant milk.

Information on maximum prices are available through the department’s website at www.depd.gov.bn/cad or via the PenggunaBijak / SmartConsumer mobile application.

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

Businesses who fail to comply with the Price Control Act and its regulations may be slapped with a compound of not more than BND1,000. Repeat offenders may face a maximum fine of BND20,000 and imprisonment of up to five years by the court.

For information relating to price control, the public can contact the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs at 2230223 during office hours or through Darussalam hotline at 123.

The public can also contact the department through the PenggunaBijak/ SmartConsumer mobile application, send an email to [email protected] or [email protected], visit www.depd.gov.bn/cad, AduanPenggunaJPKE on Facebook or go to Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs at the Department of Economic Planning and Development, Room 3.06, Level 3, West Wing, Block 2A, Jalan Ong Sum Ping.