Thu, 08 Feb 2018 07:38:32 +0000
By MAILESI BANDA
SIX bakeries on the Copperbelt Province have been fined K2 million collectively for price fixing of bread and confectioneries.
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, (CCPC) executive director, Chilufya Sampa said it had concluded the investigations and charged the offenders within last year though the offence was committed in 2016.
Mr. Sampa explained that the commission was concerned that some bakeries on the Copperbelt had simultaneously adjusted bread prices around the same time and within the same perimeters.
Speaking during a media briefing on the performance of the commission in 2017 on Tuesday, he said all the bakeries had increased the price of bread and other confectioneries by as much as 23 percent.
Mr. Sampa said this anti-competitive practice affected the poorest of the poor on the Copperbelt as the price adjustment was a significant amount when compared to their income.
“It is very disheartening to note that in this challenging economic environment, businesses could take advantage of consumers in general and the poor in particular to deprive them of their hard earned income,” he said.
Mr. Sampa said the board of commissioners directed that the bakeries be fined K2 million for price fixing and that the bakeries had since begun paying their respective fines.
And Mr Sampa said the commission had started the development of a case management system which will assist officers easily manage and track their investigations in an organised manner.
He explained that the case management system would help create effectiveness in the handling of investigations.