Four companies has been issued compounds for offences under the Price Control Act, Chapter 142. The Department of Economic Planning and Development, JPKE, through the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs has issued compounds of 500 dollars each to three companies and 700 dollars to one company. The business premises were found selling several brands of cooking oil above the maximum prices set by JPKE. Three companies were previously issued with warning notices in February, July and September this year. While, one company was previously issued with a warning notice and a compound of 500 dollars for the same offence in December 2015 and January 2016, respectively.

JPKE would like to advise retailers to comply with the Price Control Actby ensuring price-controlled items are not sold above the approved maximum prices. Updated maximum prices can be obtained from the PenggunaBijak/SmartConsumer mobile application and JPKE's website. Businesses are also reminded to adhere to the price display and cheap sales regulations by ensuring goods sold are clearly price tagged and cheap sales activities are conducted in an ethical manner. Compliance to these regulations is intended to uphold consumers' interests through price transparency enabling them to make informed purchase decisions, and to support business growth by building consumers' confidence and sustainable consumption which are essential factors in creating a vibrant business environment.

Businesses found not complying with the Price Control Act and related regulations can be subject to a compound of up to one thousand dollar after one warning notice. Subsequent offenders can be prosecuted and face a maximum fine of 20 thousand dollar and imprisonment of up to 5 years by the court. JPKE would also like to highlight that maximum prices are set on only 12 items listed under the Price Control Act. These items include cooking oil, powdered infant milk, passenger motor vehicles, rice, sugar, and energy products. Despite the maximum prices set on these items, businesses are encouraged to offer attractive prices to generate sales. Consumers are advised to understand their rights and responsibilities to make informed purchase decisions and to get the best value-for-money by comparing prices and substitutes in the market.

To support the 'Smart Consumer' initiative, JPKE encourages the general public to make use of the PenggunaBijak/SmartConsumer mobile application, which are downloadable for free on iOS and Android devices. JPKE welcomes feedback, and any clarification related to price control and consumer protection functions can be referred to the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs at Block 2A, Ong Sum Ping Condominium, Jalan Ong Sum Ping.

Source: Radio Television Brunei