Shop fined for overpriced cooking oil

|     Hakim Hayat     |

A RETAILER found to be selling cooking oil above the maximum price set under the Price Control Act was recently fined BND500, according to the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE).

The offence was uncovered by JPKE’s Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs during a routine inspection of business premises in the Belait District on July 4. The company had been issued a warning notice in May 2018 for same offence.

The company was issued the fine for violating Section 3B: Selling above maximum price set by Price Controller, under the Price Control Act, Chapter 142.

The department conducts daily inspections on price-controlled items listed under the Price Control Act, which include cooking oil, powdered formulated milk, passenger motor vehicles, and clay bricks to ensure the items are not sold above the approved maximum prices.

The inspection is to ensure businesses comply with the Price Control (Display of Prices) Order, which requires goods on display to be clearly price tagged. Businesses that fail to comply with the act and its regulations could face penalties including a compound not exceeding BND1,000; or a fine of BND5,000 and imprisonment for two years for the first offence; or a BND20,000 fine and imprisonment of five years for a repeated offence.

Not all goods are price-controlled by JPKE. Goods other than those listed in the Price Control Act are determined by traders themselves.

JPKE advised the public to practise the concept of ‘Smart Consumer,’ by comparing prices at different stores before making purchase to get the best value-for-money.

The public is encouraged to access the PenggunaBijak/SmartConsumer mobile application that provides a platform to compare prices of selected daily necessities and price controlled goods; as well as information on consumer related laws.