The Department of Economic Planning and Development, JPKE's continuous advocacy and enforcement efforts has resulted in consistent increases in the compliance rate on the Price Control Act by retailers.

According to JPKE, a 98.4% compliance rate was achieved in April 2019, compared to 96.8% in March and 96.5% in February. Only six offences were recorded in April compared to twelve 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 compounds of 500 dollars each, one compound of 700 dollars and thirteen 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 with 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 the 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.

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.

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:

Source: Radio Television Brunei