Price gouging on essential goods to be punished under laws

LOCAL NEWS

By Nyein Nyein

“Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) will take actions against those who are gouging prices on medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, and foodstuffs under the section 5 of the Essential Supplies and Services Law, with a maximum term of 3-year imprisonment and fines, during the prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19 spread,” DCA Director U Swe Tint Kyuu told the Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM) on 2 April.
“Price always vary depending on the principle of supply and demand. It is hard to do price-fixing. We can check only if the price is much higher than fair price or it is on average profit margin. We will scrutinize them whether they comply with the law or not,” he said.   Any complaint on price gouging can be filed at 48 Consumer Information and Complaint Centres in the respective regions and states, he added.
“Following the notification, we will take action in line with the law. There are two complaints filed in Nay Pyi Taw. We have directed the region and state offices to take immediate action against price gouging”, he stated.
The Ministry of Commerce has issued the order to protect the goods, in the exercise of the power set out in the Notification No 26/2020 of the Union Government dated 30 March 2020.
Under the Section 4, Sub-section (a) of the Essential Supplies and Services Law, the Ministry of Commerce has designated health aid equipment for prevention, control and treatment of the Coronavirus Disease, medicines and consumer goods as essential goods.  Starting from 30 March, the Ministry has banned speculation in the market by selling and distributing the products or storage of the goods to play the market.  Those who violate the law will face legal actions under section 5 of the law.
Therefore, the Department of Consumer Affairs encouraged the people to follow the government’s guidelines on COVID-19 and urged the sellers and businesspersons to strictly follow the notification.  (Translated by Ei Myat Mon) 

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