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Unethical trade practices surface as Diwali shopping continues

November 4, 2018 6:15 pm

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission is closely monitoring traders as consumers shop for their Diwali needs.

This comes as some unethical market practices were found during their first round of joint inspections with the Consumer Council.

These practices include the selling of rotten fruits, vegetables and insect infested food items to name a few.

Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission Chief Executive Joel Abraham says with two more days to Diwali, traders are warned to keep within the law as people continue to shop for their Diwali preparation.

Abraham says consumers also have the right to report misleading advertisements, and other matters regarding traders this festive season.

“All you have to do is come and lodge a complaint, notify us, you can call us, you can send us an email, and you can go on our Facebook page. You can even walk over to the Consumer Council office, they can log the complaint, they can refer it to us for investigation, but at the end of the day, if you are facing it, somebody else would have faced it. So you must exercise your right and say. You must speak out when something is wrong.”

Consumer Council Chief Executive Seymour Singh says consumers should ensure that goods are of grood quality.

Singh says it’s difficult for the council to check the prices of fireworks as different fireworks are sold in Fiji every year.

“We are just there to ensure that these fireworks are proper, they are not damp whereby when you light them it doesn’t go blast. As long as these fireworks are usable by the people and they are within the law in terms of what types of fireworks are being sold on the protection of our children especially.”

Meanwhile Mineral Resources Permanent Secretary Malakai Finau says consumers should only purchase fireworks from licensed retailers and only a person 18-years and above can make these purchases.

Finau says prohibited fireworks include spherical or cylindrical shells, firecrackers which include woodpecker, strikers, bangers, lady-crackers, and flash-bangers, pulling/string crackers, aerial wheels, mines, rockets and rockets without stick.

Fireworks is permitted between 5pm and 10pm on any other day and on Diwali day the permitted usage times are between 5pm and 12 midnight.