Senate approves order to make price gouging a criminal offence

The Senate yesterday approved the order which will make price gouging a criminal offence during the period that a Disaster Area is declared.
The Trade (Sale of  Goods During Period of  Declaration of  Disaster Area) Order, which was passed in the House of  Representatives on Wednesday, received unanimous support from the members of  the Upper House.
It will take effect on March 31.
Retailers found guilty of  jacking up prices on goods without cause face a fine of  up to $2 million.
The legislation is being introduced amid complaints that some supermarkets and pharmacies have been hiking the price of  anti-bacterial and sanitising products.
Under the order, the Consumer Affairs Commission has been authorised to demand books, accounts or other documents from business establishments to investigate claims of  price-gouging.
Meanwhile,  President of  the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Richard Pandohie, is urging consumers to report business establishments that engage in price gouging.
He's also appealing to commercial enterprises to desist from the practice.

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