Wednesday, March 9, 2016

No need for consumer court yet, current system adequate, says minister

The government has no plans to establish a consumer court to handle consumerism cases, including offences related to the goods, sales and service tax (GST), said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin. Although such a need was relevant in accordance with the GST implementation, he was confident the existing system was adequate at present. "However we will take note of the requirements of the various parties that wanted this court to be set up and if the situation is urgent we will reconsider," he said during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur, today. He was replying to Normala Abdul Abdul Samad (BN-Pasir Gudang) who queried on statistics relating to offences under the Price Control Act and Anti Profiteering Act 2011 (AKHAP) and action taken as well as affirmative policies and measures to be taken by the ministry to deal with price hikes by unscrupulous traders. Hamzah, who is also Larut MP, said up to March 8 this year, 2,848 notices under Section 21 of the AKHAP were issued to traders suspected of being profiteers. Subsequently 209 investigation papers were opened, namely 147 investigation papers under Section 14 (1) for profiteering, 55 under Section 21 (5) for refusing or failing to respond to notices issued and seven under Section 53A for not keeping business records. "Out of the total, 19 cases have been charged in the Special Anti-Profiteering Sessions Court with 16 cases already prosecuted and convicted with fines amounting to RM495,500. "Fourteen cases were compounded, with 10 cases under Section 14(1) and four under Section 12(5)," he said. So far, he said 13 cases had been compounded amounting to RM178,000 while the remaining one case had yet been settled. – Bernama, March 10, 2016.]]>

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