Govt pushes for total price display in new amendments

By P PREM KUMAR

Advertisements, price tags and quotations can no longer hide government taxes or any additional charges in its display.

Amendments to two laws governing price control were tabled at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, seeking lawmakers’ nod to make it compulsory for any person to display or quote the final price of goods and services, or face penalties.

The Price Control and Anti-Profiteering (Amendment) Bill 2017 and Trade Descriptions (Amendment) Bill 2017 were tabled in the august house for first reading by Deputy Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Henry Sum Agong.

The proposed new section in Price Control and Anti-Profiteering (Amendment) Bill 2017 seeks to require any person to display, advertise, publish or quote a final price — including all government taxes, duties and other charges which are to be imposed by the person on his goods or services.

This is to overcome the display of prices or charges that are subject to multiple additional charges, resulting in higher final prices to be paid by consumers.

A new proposed section, 10B, will be introduced into Act 723 to promote transparency in the display, advertisement, publication or quotation of prices or charges.

Additionally, new proposed section 10C seeks to empower the government to direct any person who supplies or offers to supply any goods or services to provide any return, document or information containing the prices of goods or charges for any services imposed by a person.

The information collected will be used by the government to obtain data on prices of goods and charges for services for analysis purposes.

“Prices and charges collected and analysed will help the government to monitor prices of goods and services in the market,” it noted.

The amendments also propose that companies which contravene the proposed sections 10B and 10C shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM100,000, and for a second and subsequent offence, of a fine not more than RM250,000.

Individuals who infringe the law shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 and/or two years imprisonment, while for a second and subsequent offence, a fine of not exceeding RM100,000 and/or five years imprisonment.