Firms put out ‘tax reduction’ prices

Joel Abraham the FCCC CEO during a press conference. Picture: ATU RASEA/FILE

An additional 21 businesses have been commended by the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) for reducing their prices to reflect reductions and exemptions of duties and taxes which were part of the 2020-2021 National Budget.

FCCC chief executive Joel Abraham said it was encouraging to have these businesses step up and be responsible by reducing their prices so the Fijian consumers could also benefit from these measures in the budget, as was intended.

“The reason the Fijian Government put in the reduction and exemptions in the budget was to stimulate economic activity and help businesses get through the reduced economic activity caused by COVID-19.

“This does not mean the savings are supposed to stay with traders — it is meant to assist consumers and businesses equally,” he added.

Mr Abraham said the FCCC (Budget Amendment Act 2020 Section 53A) authorised FCCC to ensure this happened. This was in terms of working and guiding the private sector to pass on the benefits of the 1942 categories of duty or tax reduction, monitoring the impact of duty reductions, and creating awareness on the amendments.

“Instead of taking a punishment-based stance, we prefer to collaborate first, since often we find that non-compliance in such cases was because the business was not fully aware of what their responsibility is, as opposed to dishonesty,” he said.

“This is why we have taken a proactive approach and have met with over 100 stakeholders, not just to educate them on what they need to do but to also get their input.” According to a statement from FCCC, it was stated to conduct a thorough assessment of the supply chain. This was from the importer to wholesaler to retailer, all the way to the Fijian consumer, to ensure there was no unethical conduct at any point.

The 21 businesses include: Pak N Save, Nayan’s Supermarket, Extra Supermarket, Her Gorgeous Expression, Hop Tiy, Bondwell, Datec, Tents & Awnings, Viti Rentals, Sevens Rentals, Taunovo Buses, South Sea Cruise, Damodar, Life Cinemas, Grace Roads, Vuvale Restaurant, Navini Island Resort, Vono Pte Ltd, Hexagon and InterContinental, and Grand West Villas.

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