Retailers and private clinics in Brunei Darussalam are advised not to take advantage of the public by hiking up prices of face masks and hand sanitizers in light of the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) abroad. The Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) under the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (DEPS), Ministry of Finance and Economy has begun monitoring the costs and the retail prices of the above items, following numerous formal complaints with evidence received in the last few days about price hikes.
During inspections, retailers were requested to provide information and advised to maintain affordability and fair prices to ensure that the public has access to face masks and hand sanitizers. Prices of such items are to be displayed clearly at visible spots for consumers' knowledge and monitoring purposes. Retailers may consider measures to ration the purchase of those items per consumer on a temporary basis to ensure adequate supply and to maintain price stability.
Meanwhile, consumers are reminded to be considerate of others and to respect the purchase rations if temporary rations were set. The public are also advised not to hoard the items to be fair on those who are really in need and unwell. Appropriate enforcement actions may be taken against businesses, which are found to mark up prices to unreasonable levels without justifiable reasons or hoard the items to hike up prices. The public may report unethical business conduct to the DCCA through the Consumer Hotline under Talian Darussalam 123.
Source: Radio Television Brunei