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Price-fixing affects economy – CCPC

CHAABA

KELVIN MBEWE, Lusaka
THE Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) says price-fixing by some manufacturers is negatively affecting the country’s economy.
Public relations officer Hanford Chaaba said in an interview that: “We are aware that a number of companies are meeting in dark corners to agree on pricing of their commodities. This is detrimental to the economy and individuals. It creates an artificial shortage, which leads to inflation because people will still buy an essential commodity like sugar despite it being priced high.
Mr Chaaba said the vice needs consented efforts to be tackled effectively.
“We have introduced a whistleblower initiative to effectively deal with price-fixing because it is difficult to prove the vice. We are encouraging those that are practising price-fixing to expose their colleagues and they will be exempted from the penalty,” he said
He said the penalty for price-fixing is severe.
“A charge of 10 percent of a company’s annual income is what we slap on price fixers. This is a huge deduction which can cause a company to be bankrupt. The reason we charge such exorbitant penalties is to deter would-be perpetrators,” he said.
Some millers are allegedly colluding to fix prices of the essential commodity.

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