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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 731

Sri Lanka to revise Consumer Affairs Authority Act

By J.A. Fernando in Colombo
Colombo, 29 May, (Asiantribune.com):

The Government of Sri Lanka had decided to revise the Consumer Affairs Authority act so as to include provision aimed at reducing the prices of goods which were increased without any proper authorization.

Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority Rumy Marshook had recently said to reporters that the draft bill containing the amendments has already been prepared while draft bill is being finalized by the Legal Draftsman's Department at present.

He had noted that once this process is completed, it will be presented to Parliament for approval.

Marshook had stressed that at present, various institutions increase prices of goods without obtaining the permission of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA).

He had also said that once these new amendments come into force, the authority will have jurisdiction to act against such arbitrary price increases.

Sri Lanka Consumer Protection Authority had also announced that it took legal action against 3,000 shop owners against offenses like selling goods at higher prices than the registered price and disregarding hygienic conditions in the country for the last few months. Rumi Marzook had said that these actions were taken within the past five months whilst a total of Rs. 7.5 million was fined for the offenders through judicial action.

The Chairman also said that the Authority's district offices conduct the raids based on complains and at random to safeguard the consumers from the unscrupulous traders.

Back in April 2011, the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) said it will come down hard on errant traders, shops and companies advertising goods and services without their prices on public display.

Subsequently Consumer Affairs Authority directed that it will take action against people and companies advertising goods and services without mentioning their prices.

Under these regulations all goods and services advertised in the print and electronic media, radio, billboards, internet and others, have to state the cost of the product or service advertised or displayed. CAA said that such a situation will also compel customers to spend their money to find out the cost of the goods and services, whereas if the prices are on display this will save the public time and effort and will also allow them to decide if they can afford to purchase the product or service advertised.

According to sources apart from fast consumer goods and food items that are up for sale with a price tag Sri Lanka’s real estate prices and several electronic items and vehicles that are up for sale through classifieds had been exorbitantly rising as they were always advertised without a price tag.

However with new regulation it has been now evident that many real property and sellers, vehicle sellers or electronic item sellers are bound to mention the prices of advertisements which in turn do not create an artificial price hike of such as real estate market in the island nation.

Meanwhile the Consumer Affairs Authority had also said recently that all toothbrushes marketed from 1 June in the country should carry the Sri Lanka Standard (SLS) certification which is a directive is as per the powers vested to it under Section 12 (2) of the Consumer Affairs Authority Act No. 9 of 2003.

Accordingly, the CAA directed that no manufacturer, distributor or trader shall manufacture, distribute, store or sell or display for sale or offer for sale in wholesale or in retail any locally-manufactured toothbrushes unless it is marked with the SLS Product Certification Mark issued by the Sri Lanka Standards Institute eligibly and in a conspicuous face on each and every pack of the toothbrush.

- Asian Tribune -

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