Consumer Council clears confusion on Price Control

18/11/2009 14:56

The Consumer Council of Fiji would like to clear the confusion amongst the consumers on the removal of price control. Following reports in the media today on removal of 146 items from Price Control, the Council was inundated with telephone calls from several concerned and panicked consumers who assumed that all items under Price Control had been completely removed.

However, the Council would like to inform the consumers that the items removed from Price Control are the 146 items which were under the Counter-Inflation (Notification of Proposed Increases in Price and Service Charges) Order 1997 and the additional 24 items proposed by Prices and Incomes Board (PIB) to be put under Price Control earlier this month.

The Consumers need to know that these 146 items under the above mentioned Order were not under price control however, the manufacturer’s intending to increase the prices of these items were required to give PIB twelve weeks notification. Now with the removal of this Order the manufacturers do not have to give any notification in case of price increase. Some of the items included in the list of 146 are cake mix, candles, cigarette lighters, custard powder, ice cream, ice block, mattresses, peanut butter and orange juice. 

The Council would like to reassure the consumers those items under the fixed and percentage price control still remains. For example, basic food items such as flour, sharp, bread and biscuit are still under fixed price control including liquid and powdered milk, onions and potatoes, etc which came under percentage mark up. Also all pharmaceutical items are still under price control.

The Council is happy with the decision made by Cabinet to finally merge PIB, Department and Fair Trading and Commerce Commission. This will harmonise all the respective Departments duties and functions to better serve consumers under one stop shop.