By Dion A. Foulkes
The Public is advised that it is illegal, unethical and immoral for businesses in The Bahamas to artificially increase the price of goods and services offered for sale or hire in an attempt to secure abnormal profits in anticipation or in the aftermath of a national disaster, in this instance, Hurricane Irma.
Having responsibility for the Consumer Affairs Unit, the Price Control Commission, the Consumer Protection Agency and the Bureau of Standards and Quality, we have directed Price Inspectors throughout The Bahamas, Inspectors from the Bureau of Standards, and Family Island Administrators to be keenly vigilant and monitor business establishments which are suspected of engaging in price gouging.
The Ministry of Labour has established a Hotline service from 9am to 9pm at which the General Public is encouraged to lodge any complaints related to artificial price increases. The Hotline numbers are: 376-1507 and 376-5125.
This notice appeals to all businesses in The Bahamas, but, in particular, food stores, service stations supplying gasoline, diesel or kerosene, hardware stores and stores supplying building materials and automotive parts.
While the focus will be on all prices, the prices applicable to bread basket items would be of particular concern. The rules applicable to weights and measures are also expected to be strictly adhered to.
We assure the public that all three of the major fuel suppliers have advised us that there is sufficient fuel (regular and diesel) to satisfy the public demand pre and post Hurricane Irma.