Consumers can complain about overcharging: MOC says

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Consumers line up to shop for cooking oil at affordable prices.  photo:UMFCCI

With the Consumers Affairs Department under the Ministry of Commerce endeavouring to scale down palm oil prices, consumers can make a complaint about overcharging by dialling the Call Centre.
The department is making concerted efforts to steer the high volatility in palm oil prices in the retail market and offer fairer prices to the consumers, in coordination with the Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers Association and oil importing companies.
The complaints for overcharging can be lodged over Hot Line: 1535 of the Call Centre of the Consumers Affairs Department or sent to the Facebook Page of the department and the pages of the region and state departments concerned.
The coordination meeting for the edible oil price stability was held on 30 August at the Ministry of Commerce (office No 3). Union Minister for Commerce U Aung Naing Oo gave the remark that the State contributed cheaper way to buying foreign currency to the edible oil sector by allowing the importers to buy 50 per cent of the total cost of imported palm oil at the reference exchange rate at the Central Bank of Myanmar and the remaining at the best rate. Furthermore, the CBM also stepped up to deal with foreign currency shortages for edible oil importers.
Afterwards, Union Minister U Aung Naing Oo elaborated on the Commerce Ministry issuing the wholesale reference price weekly. However, the market price is exorbitantly high. He found that consumers are not able to access the subsidy scheme. Therefore, the Union Minister warned the businesspersons in Yangon on 1 July to set a reasonable price. He called for them to prioritize the consumers’ interest, not for self-interest only.
Additionally, the Union Minister encouraged all the stakeholders in the supply chain to cooperate with the ministry to reduce palm oil prices in the coming days as the ministry will try to achieve the meeting outcomes practically.
A task force for edible oil price stability was formed and started informing the lists of wholesale/retail shops of each company from 28 August, including the address of the shops in the respective townships and the number of available barrels.
The task force will govern the market to meet the satisfaction of the end-users in the supply chain and get easy access to the consumers.
It will also supervise the market to ensure the palm oil sales at wholesale prices are not higher than two per cent of the net profit margin and retail prices not higher than 10 per cent margin.
The Supervisory Committee on Edible Oil Import and Distribution under the Ministry of Commerce has been closely observing the FOB prices in Malaysia and Indonesia including transport costs, tariffs and banking services, and issuing the wholesale market reference rate for edible oil weekly.
The wholesale reference rate of palm oil for the Yangon market was set at K4,155 per viss this week from 28 August to 3 September.
The domestic consumption of palm oil is estimated at one million tonnes per year. The local palm oil production is just about 400,000 tonnes. To meet the domestic demands, about 700,000 tonnes of palm oil are yearly imported through Malaysia and Indonesia. — NN/EM

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