The Department of Economic Planning and Development’s (JPKE) continuous advocacy and enforcement efforts has resulted in consistent increases in the compliance rate on the Price Control Act by retailers.
A 98.4% compliance rate was achieved in April 2019, compared to 96.8% in March and 96.5% in February.
Only six (6) offences were recorded in April compared to twelve (12) offences in March. The offences involved selling of cooking oil and powdered infant milk above the maximum prices set by JPKE and offering goods for sale without displaying prices. As a result, four (4) compounds of $500 each, one (1) compound of $700 and thirteen (13) warning notices were issued by JPKE.
All the offences were found in the Brunei-Muara district during daily routine inspections conducted by JPKE. These inspections are carried out throughout the country continuously, to ensure retailers comply to the Price Control Act, Chapter 142 and its related regulations.
Only 12 categories of basic necessities are listed as price-controlled items in the Act on a long-term basis. The items are cooking oil, powdered infant milk, rice, sugar, passenger motor vehicles, clay bricks, motor gasoline (Premium 97, Regular 85 and Super 92), diesel fuel, bottled liquefied gas petroleum and dual-purpose kerosene.
During festive season from 1st Ramadhan to 7th Syawal 1440 Hijrah, JPKE also sets maximum prices on eight categories of selected daily food necessities for 5 weeks. The items involved are whole chicken, chicken eggs, butter, margarine, ghee, flour, milk (condensed, evaporated and cream) and coconut milk (powdered, condensed and cream). This initiative is intended to maintain the affordability of selected high-consumption food items used in food preparation over the festive Ramadhan and Hari Raya season.
JPKE wishes to highlight that although maximum prices are set on the above-listed specific goods, retailers are encouraged to offer competitive prices below the ceiling price, to compete and attract customers. Prices of goods other than those in the price-controlled list are subjected to market forces.
Retailers are also inspected to ensure ethical and fair trade practices by displaying price tags or discounts clearly, to inform consumers in making purchase decisions, in observing the Price Display and Sales Regulations.
Meanwhile, consumers are reminded of their responsibility to know their rights to always make choices through comparing price, quality of available substitutes in the market, understanding the terms and condition of sales, in making value for money and smart purchase decisions.
In empowering consumers with more information, JPKE encourages the public to make use of the PenggunaBijak / SmartConsumer mobile application. The functions of the app include price comparison which enables consumers to compare prices of selected daily necessities, list of retailers participating in sales and discounts activities, as well as updated maximum prices set on the twelve (12) items listed under the Price Control Act, Chapter 142.
Businesses are advised to take appropriate measures to ensure that they comply to the Price Control Act, Chapter 142 as well as its related regulations as failure to do so can result in a compound of up to $1,000 after the first warning notice. Repeated offenders can be prosecuted and face a maximum fine of $20,000 and imprisonment of up to 5 years by the court.
JPKE welcomes feedback, and any clarification related to price control and consumer protection matters can be referred to the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs at:
Consumer Hotline: Talian Darussalam 123
Mobile application: PenggunaBijak / SmartConsumer
JPKE telephone line: 2230223 (office hours)
Barangan yang dikawal harga di bawah Akta Kawalan Harga, Penggal 142
Harga maksima terkini bagi minyak masak, susu tepong anak damit dan kenderaan bermotor penumpang boleh didapati di aplikasi mudah alih PenggunaBijak / SmartConsumer dan laman sesawang JPKE di www.depd.gov.bn/cad
Price-controlled items under the Price Control Act, Chapter 142
Updated maximum prices for cooking oil, powdered infant milk and passenger motor vehicles can be obtained from the mobile application PenggunaBijak / SmartConsumer and the JPKE website at www.depd.gov.bn/cad
Courtesy of Department of Economic Planning and Development, Ministry of Finance and Economy, Wednesday May 22, 2019