People are paying more for goods as there has been an escalation of prices for non-price control items but hopes are high that prices will start to drop as the freight rates are dropping.
When questioned by fijivillage News on the rising prices, the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission has been conducting market surveillance, and through their daily market inspections, they have observed the rising prices of items.
The FCCC says this has remained at this level due to the sharp increase in international freight rates.
FCCC Chief Executive Officer Joel Abraham says they have noticed the freight rates have started to drop fast and he hopes in months to come the prices will be back to normal.
Abraham says priced control items have remained stable while non-price control items is an issue at the moment and they will constantly be monitoring the market via price surveillance.
He also says there has been a lot happening after COVID-19 as most businesses that closed down are now getting back into recovery mode and the wage rate for some businesses has increased as well.
Abraham says economically speaking, prices have always been sticking upward and if the quantity demanded does not drop, traders are more than happy to leave the prices as it was when they increased.
He says they are also keeping a close watch on the behaviour of traders to prevent any attempts from them to profiteer from the vulnerability of the public and those found to be doing this will be taken to task.
He further says it is also critical for people to also understand that cost of living issues and escalating prices are a global phenomena and are not linked to any particular government.
Abraham says there have also been price reductions and this is due to the movement of global supplies for example with the fuel prices being reduced in the first two months of the year and now they have increased again.
The CEO says they have also received complaints about the increase in bus fares and they have been in discussions with other business communities who are keen to put in their submissions.
He adds they will make sure they scrutinize any increases in prices before it is approved and if there is any legitimacy of passing any increases.
He says they also have teams in the outer islands monitoring prices as they do not only want to focus on the urban areas.
Abraham says they will be holding discussions with the government in the National Economic Summit on what are some inflation mitigation measures that the government can come up with and what policy they can also invent.
He says the government’s consultative approach is welcomed and they will continue to engage with the government just like they always have in the past to ensure the consumers and their rights are not breached.
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