Director of Consumer Protection Department at Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Secretary General of the National Committee for Consumer Protection (NCCP) Abdullah Ali Al-Musab says the committee will commence its work next month in concurrence with the holy month of Ramadan. In a press statement, Al-Musab explained that the committee was recently formed under the leadership of Rashed Al-Hajri based on Law 39/2014 concerning controlling the activities in all markets within the country.
He affirmed, “The markets will be controlled with an iron fist. Strict action will be taken against any company or trade enterprise that is found in violation of the law”. He indicated that the main duties of the technical secretariat subcommittee are to organize the inspectors’ work and facilitate their inspection duties in markets.
The team will also be in charge of looking into grievances and complaints, and issuance of citations against violations. Al-Musab affirmed, “The decisions taken by the National Committee for Consumer Protection are enforceable and final, and can be appealed in the court of justice”, adding that the committee consists of 15 members from various ministries and government bodies, and its mandate does not clash with the mandate of the Consumer Protection Department or Control Department at Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He said, “What distinguishes the committee’s mandate is the brief process and quick decisions taken regarding the complaints and violations referred to the committee. The panel is chaired by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, who is represented by the ministry’s assistant undersecretary”.
Regarding Almarai Company’s request for increasing prices by 10 percent, Al- Musab revealed that the ministry will reject any unjustified price increase by any company in the local market, adding that the Price Regulating Committee will decide whether the price increase is justifiable or not. He indicated that the Consumer Protection Department is currently monitoring all the companies, markets and shops which are in violation of the consumer law, especially after activation of the policy wherein the consumer has the right to return or exchange product within 14 days from date of purchase.
The return or exchange policy is in line with the Consumer Protection Act 39/2014, which allows consumers to return products within 14 days of purchase, if they find the product defective or if the item is not the size required by the consumer.