September 06, 2017
There will be over 60 inspectors throughout The Bahamas monitoring incidents of price gouging leading up to Hurricane Irma and a week after, Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes said yesterday.
"Normally leading up to national disasters such as this hurricane, we have had past experiences with merchants increasing the prices of hurricane-related items, particularly at hardware stores and at food stores," said Foulkes, outside the Office of the Prime Minister.
"We would like to advise all merchants in The Bahamas that it is an offense, under the Price Control Act and the Consumer Protection Act.
"The total fine, if you combine both acts, is around $8,000 penalty.
"Also, there is a risk of losing the business license.
"So we would like to encourage merchants generally not to take advantage, from an illegal point of view and also from a moral point of view, of the Bahamian consumers during this period.
"If anyone has a complaint or notice that prices have been increased, we want to encourage them to dial our hotline numbers."
The hotline numbers are 376-1507 and 376-5125. They will be available between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
In a statement to the press yesterday morning, the Ministry of Labour said it has directed price inspectors throughout the The Bahamas, inspectors from the Bureau of Standards and Family Island administrators to be keenly vigilant and monitor businesses that are suspected of engaging in price gouging.
"This notice appeals to all businesses in The Bahamas, but, in particular, food stores; service stations supplying gasoline, diesel or kerosene; hardware stores and stores supplying building materials and automotive parts," it noted.
"While the focus will be on all prices, the prices applicable to breadbasket items would be of particular concern.
"The rules applicable to weights and measures are also expected to be strictly adhered to."
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News date : 09/06/2017 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories