Monday, November 24, 2008

Social obligation to lower prices of goods and services

People are feeling rather uneasy with the traders because prices of goods were still high although the government had kept its promise to reduce petrol prices.

The prices of goods had gone up steeply soon after the fuel price hike in June but came down marginally after the government cut petrol and diesel prices. It is absolutely ridiculous that despite the progressive fuel price reductions, people are still paying steep prices for daily necessities.

Traders especially restaurants and food stores should have a social responsibility and obligation to voluntarily lower the prices of goods and foods in line with the drop in the fuel retail prices to enable the people to reap the full benefits of cheaper fuel in the country without waiting for the government to act.

It is unjustified that consumer associations leaving it to the government to monitor and overcome the problem of high prices of goods without lifting a finger to help, instead they should take the lead on protecting consumers from exploitation by traders.

Undeniably, consumers associations were very powerful and they should use that power to teach their members how to handle traders who sell goods at high or unreasonable prices.

Consumer should work together to shun traders who are profiteer and charge exorbitant prices for essential goods to ensure the prices to come down. They should boycott outlets and premises for not reducing their prices despite NGOs step forward and advice consumers where to shop and eat.

The price cut campaign on consumer goods initiated by hypermarkets should be extended to include retail outlets, sundry shops nationwide and all the traders.

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