Businesses found to be price gouging could face fines up to $5,000
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Price Commission announced its intent on Thursday to clamp down even further on businesses who engage in price gouging and hoarding.
Daniel Sumner, chairman of the Price Commission confirmed that the committee will increase the presence of price inspectors, not only in New Providence, but throughout the Family Islands as well.
According to Sumner, businesses often seem to engage in price gouging around the hurricane season. With this in mind, he issued a stern warning for consumers to be on the lookout for unusual price hikes in breadbasket items and hardware supplies.
Now, while the commission has indicated its intent to increase the presence of inspectors on the ground, commission member Raphael Munnings encouraged members of the public to assist with policing businesses with unscrupulous practices as well.
“Inspectors are not always going to be able to be in these stores during their hours of operation; but, every Bahamian should be looking out for these kinds of infractions,” Munnings said.
“When you find them, even if you don’t want to approach a store manager, call the price commission hotline and rest assured that those situations will be inspected and some kind of remedy will be executed.
The Price Commission’s hotline is 376-1157.
Businesses found price gouging could face fines not exceeding $5,000 and those found to be hoarding could be fined up to $2, 500.
The price watch will not only apply to food and hardware items, according to Sumner.
He confirmed that the price commission will also be keeping an eye on gasoline prices on the Family Islands as well.
“We are aware that to take gasoline to a Family Island it needs to go on a mail boat and we are also aware that this means that gasoline will be a little more expensive on the Family Islands. But, we will watch the Family Island prices on gasoline in comparison to what prices look like in New Providence,” Sumner said.\
The Price Commission falls under the carriage of the Ministry of Labour and has been given the mandate to serve and protect consumers from unfair prices charged by unscrupulous merchants.