Several months have elapsed since any news of progress on the Consumer Protection Bill. But, the junior minister for trade, Marlon Penn has said a draft of the legislation is now expected to go out for public consultation this month.
He said consultations will begin around mid-November.
While speaking in the House of Assembly in October, Penn explained that residents will be able to give feedback on the legislation through online consultations and public meetings.
“[These consultations will] give persons the opportunity to comment on the draft legislation so that you could have a final draft that represents the people of this territory and the will of the people of this territory. So, we are much closer [to implementing the law],” the junior minister said.
“Once that process is done — and we anticipate that it will be done before the end of November — we will be correlating all the responses and comments from persons so that we could have that legislation to the House of Assembly.”
Penn said his team has been working on the draft of the long-awaited legislation for approximately a year.
He, however, maintains that the Office of the Attorney General is to be blamed for the delay in the implementation of the legislation.
“The team waited for about six to eight months to get that legislation where it is today — a draft.”
But, according to Attorney General Baba Aziz, a yet-to-be-established Trade Commission Corporation is the real reason behind the delay of the Consumer Protection Bill.
The bill will establish the rights of both consumers and businesses in an effort to create a ‘free-priced market economy’.
Price gouging, particularly after the recent hurricanes, was a major issue in the territory.
It is anticipated that the bill will have that, and other unscrupulous business practices addressed.
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