Buffalo and cattle meat vendors are reminded to follow the Seasonal Maximum Price, SMP Directive and display prices clearly to enhance price transparency in allowing consumers to make informed purchase decisions.
Yesterday, the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics, Ministry of Finance and Economy issued warning letters to 11 buffalo and cattle meat vendors in the Gadong wet market for selling buffalo and cattle meat above the capped prices set by the SMP Directive. During the inspection on the 11th of May 2021, the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs, Department of Economic Planning and Statistics, vendors were also found to have posted their price displays in a manner that did not comply to the Price Display Order.
Warning notices were issued to the vendors and subsequent offences will be met with a compound of up to $500. Prices were found to range from $15 to $17 per kilogramme, which exceed the capped price of $13 per kilogramme set under the SMP Directive. In an attempt to circumvent the SMP Directive, vendors were found offering inferior cuts of meat at $13 per kilogramme. Price labels were also found to be incomplete and hung up above eye level in small prints.
In a previous visit to the same wet market, vendors were found not displaying labels or displaying price boards which did not correspond to prices quoted to consumers, stating 'pre-Covid prices' as excuses to justify the price change. As it was their first offence, vendors were issued a warning notice and advised to ensure proper labelling, stating the type and part of meat sold, with the actual price for the day, in order to remain ethical and to safeguard consumer interests.
The public is encouraged to make use of features related to prices of essential goods in the PenggunaBijak application and the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs website as a reference on prices being offered in the market.
Failing to abide by the Price Display Order carries a maximum penalty of $20,000 and 5 years imprisonment. Any issues or concerns on prices set under the SMP Directive can be directed through Talian Darussalam 123, the PenggunaBijak mobile application or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Source: Radio Television Brunei