Moves to improve quality of goods entering the country


Minister Pierre Laporte noted that in the coming years, as funds become available, his ministry is planning to introduce another but more sophisticated scanner to detect a wider range of poor quality goods.

“I believe this will bring some improvement in the quality of goods entering the country,” said Minister Laporte.
He added that two authenticators which will go to the Seychelles Bureau of Standards and one to the Customs Division to verify the authenticity of alcoholic beverages and possibly other soft drinks as well will also be introduced soon.

Minister Laporte gave these information during Question Time in the National Assembly on Tuesday last week while answering a question by elected member for Cascade Charles De Commarmond.
He had asked the minister to explain what is being done to stop merchants from abusing consumers on prices and quality of goods on sale.

Minister Laporte once again reiterated that in the absence of price control the government cannot dictate prices but let competition play this part and ensure the environment is conducive for competition to increase.

He noted that at present the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) is playing an important role but all the same he pointed out that a lot more needs to be done to ensure merchants respect laws and regulations in place. He said for instance the penalties dishonest merchants have to pay are too low and his ministry is stepping up its effort to ensure more realistic fines are imposed.

“There are many cases where investigations have been carried out and as a result merchants have been fined but I believe this is not sufficient as more and more reports of abuse are being brought to the attention of the FTC, such as cases where consumers are being charged for VAT which the merchants are not paying, expired commodities which are being sold, among many more,” said Mr Laporte.

He called on Assembly members to continue educating people in their communities and put pressure on merchants concerned and also to bring to the attention of the authorities such practices.

With regard to the quality of goods entering the country he noted that even though different agencies involved are each playing their role of oversight, they need to relook at the way they are operating and find ways to be more effective.

He said there have been various investigations and spot checks at businesses around the country following concerns raised by consumers but said these are not enough.

While the authorities intensify their effort to address the issue of quality products it is important that consumers play their part and be responsible and help the authorities to help them by continuing to file reports on abusive merchants and traders.

Minister Laporte also expressed concern that at present there are no facilities to carry out tests on meat being imported in the country and said his ministry is urgently stepping up its effort to make available resources for the concerned authorities so they can test meat entering the country to determine their contents and if they are safe to consume.

“This will also give more value to meat produced locally as consumers will know exactly the content of the meat they are eating,” added Minister Laporte.


Send your comment :

Name *

Email *

Comment *