Businesses urged not to engage in unfair trade practices

Consumers are urged to use toll free number 1214 should unfair trade practices occur

While shops and businesses have been allowed for operation in their respective zones amidst the second nationwide lockdown, the Office of the Consumer Protection (OCP) has urged the business entities in the country to strictly refrain from engaging in unfair trade practices.

Unfair trade practices include charging unfair and unreasonable price on the goods and services, and taking undue advantage of the situation.

Accordingly, the OCP has directed all the business entities to maintain the selling prices of the goods and services effective or prevalent prior to the lockdown.

โ€œAny unfair increase in prices over and above the prevailing prices prior to lockdown tantamount to unfairly charging exorbitant prices taking situational advantage which is subject to taking administrative actions,โ€ states the public notification issued by the OCP yesterday.

Additionally, the OCP also reiterates to the business entities to refrain from selling expired products, not to deny sale of goods, use correct weights and measures, issue money receipt, display price tag, etc.

โ€œThis is truly an unprecedented challenging moment and testing time for all of us to show solidarity among each other to overcome the adversity that has impacted every one of us,โ€ states the public notification.

As such, any untoward or unfair business practices by the business community, according to the OCP, will not be tolerated and will take appropriate action as per the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2012 and Consumer Protection Rules and Regulations 2015 including disallowing to operate business during lockdown and cancellation of business license in consultation with relevant agencies.

While the OCP maintains that it will continue to monitor market and business entities, it has also urged the consumers to notify them through toll free number 1214 or any other means deemed appropriate to the consumer should such unfair trade practices occur.

The consumers are also advised to exercise due care and make informed purchase decisions; compare prices, quality, standards, labeling and features with competing products or services; and ask and keep receipts for ever day purchase.

Staff Reporter from Thimphu