ICCC starts second phase of nationwide price inspection

Tuesday, 27 February 2024, 7:35 pm

ICCC Commissioner and CEO, Paulus Ain in a press conference today (NBC News: Solomon Sumb)

THE Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has started the second phase of the nationwide inspection on prices of goods sold at the wholesale and retail shops nationwide starting in the nation's capital.

The Price and Productivity Division of ICCC will spearhead this exercise but it will be specifically on certain goods declared by the Minister for Treasury under the Prices Regulation Act.

Some of the declared goods that will be inspected and regulated through this exercise includes rice products, Ramu sugar products and, flour industry price monitoring.

 ICCC Commissioner and CEO Paulus Ain said the operation will see all shops in the National Capital District inspected to ensure the prices collected previously by ICCC during phase 1 has not been increased by 10% without prior approval.

He said a penalty of K10,000 fine will be imposed on individual items if there is failure of compliance with ICCC's price regulation or the matter taken to court.

“These prices relate to the prices of the declared goods listed under Scheduled 1 of price Control measure No.4. In 2023 we arrested about 300 business houses charging 10 % above the price margins that we had set so we are in court.

“We have gone as far as Buka and some business houses in Buka are also in Court so as we speak today, we have 20 businesses still in court.

“We understand that sometimes the prices of goods on the shelves could be different from what’s in the till but let me remind every business house, we have been there and know everything. All we want is simply comply with our regulations. This time around we will have no mercy. You either pay the fines or go to court.” Mr. Ain said.

Commissioner Ain also clarified that price rise and inflation are not the same thing and consumers must not get confused. 

He said price rise is the increase in the prices of specific goods and services due to changes in supply and demand whereas inflation is the increase in the general prices of goods and services over time where ICCC has no power to control inflation.

“We are a price taker economy. We rely mostly on the things we import into our economy so from our visibility the price trend that’s moving is the reflection of what’s happening globally and we have no control over it,” Mr. Ain added.