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Posted On: 21 September 2009 02:57 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Shopping outlet charged with violating price freeze

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The government has cracked the whip on a major shopping outlet for taking consumers for a ride and showing flagrant disregard for the ministerial decision which froze the prices of 104 consumer items of mass use during the holy month of Ramadan. The outlet is a famous one and has branches in several places in the country. It has been booked for violating the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Business and Trade during Ramadan freezing the rates of 104 commonly used items, mostly basic foodstuff. The violation was detected by inspectors from the Consumer Protection Department of the Ministry who were conducting a routine checking when they realised that some of the items were being sold at the outlet at prices far above the slabs fixed by the Ministry. Ministerial decisions are as good as a law and their violation can attract legal action as happened in the case of the outlet in question. The Ministry froze the prices of the 104 basic consumer items during the holy month for the benefit of the consumers at large who had been complaining of unfair and unprecedented price hikes by retailers. After the directive was violated at the outlet, the matter was referred to the Public Prosecution which conducted thorough investigations. And once the probe was over the Prosecution prepared a charge sheet and forwarded the matter to the court. The court will now hear the case. This is the first time any retail outlet has been booked by the law-enforcement agencies in the country for price manipulation.