Legal action has been taken against 84 traders while 290 have been warned by the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission for non-compliance during the current financial year.
Many people have been raising serious concerns about prices of items continuing to increase, and asking what is being done about this matter by the government and relevant agencies.
When asked by fijivillage News, the FCCC says regular inspections are done by their enforcement teams around the country to ensure compliance by traders, which includes ensuring that the reductions in VAT and duty are being properly reflected.
For the financial year 2022/2023 to date, 14,383 inspections were carried out around the country, and 97.3 percent complete compliance was noted according to the FCCC.
It says specifically on VAT and duty reductions, 31 traders are under investigation for non-compliance at various stages, ranging from request for information to furnish relevant information and beyond.
These are being processed in line with legal channels and restrictions.
According to the commission, majority of traders have been compliant with the VAT and duty reductions.
It also says although prices have increased on certain products, this has not been due to non-compliance but increases in costs that are borne by traders such as supplier cost/price, exchange rate, freight charges and clearance costs.
The commission says overall, they stress that the primary reason for the inflation that we have experienced and continue to experience is that it is reflecting global inflation.
It says inflation has been rising globally, not just in Fiji.
They say they have taken multiple measures to try and mitigate the effects of inflation, but it cannot be completely prevented.
The FCCC says without these measures, the situation would have been far, far worse.
It also reiterates that Fiji is a price taker and heavily reliant on imports, which means that it is subject to market forces such as the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and more recently, the natural disasters in New Zealand which devastated the country’s agricultural industry.
The commission says in addition to their own inspections and surveys, they also strongly encourage the public to report any cases they encounter where there is overcharging or other misconduct, so they can investigate and take action.
For complaints you can go to the FCCC offices, send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 8921991 or live chat on their website at fccc.gov.fj.
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