NIA Recognizes Consumer Rights Day

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NIA RECOGNIZES CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY By John Denny Observer Reporter
(Charlestown, Nevis) – The Nevis Island Administration’s Ministry of Trade recognized Consumer Rights Day at their office last Monday, Mar. 16. During the press conference, Permanent Secretary Dwight Morton said the purpose of the newly formed department was to foster a market place that is both safe and equitable for both traders and consumer alike. The Junior Minister of Trade Dwight Cozier delivered remarks at the conference and announced price reductions at the supply store on a number of animal feed products. “For one, in Nevis we are trying to ensure that the price on control items is maintained,’said Morton. “These are items like milk, sugar, rice, flour, animal feed, etc. In addition, our responsibility is to ensure that the prices at the (fuel) pumps, for diesel and gasoline are what have been approved by the Ministry of Trade.”Last week, the Consumer Affairs Unit instituted a weekly program on VON Radio, NNC and Choice FM to broadcast the prices of goods sold at the supply store and announces the set prices of all other control items. The prices will be announced at least twice every Tuesday. “We want to ensure that the public gets a fair deal,’said Morton. Another aspect of the weekly broadcast will be to educate the public on a number of other issues such as upcoming legislation regarding trade and consumer protections. The Junior Minister said this was the first time Consumer Rights Day had been celebrated in Nevis and he was taking the opportunity to announce the realization of the new Consumer Affairs Unit. Plans have been underway for the new unit for almost a year. The concept of the unit came about after the Ministry of Trade announced a reduction in consumption tax on certain items. Rice, all flour, Cream of Wheat, Sardines and Tuna was approved at 100 percent reduction in consumption taxes and so to are baby pampers and adult diapers while cheese, white potatoes, oats, butter, Vienna sausages, dried peas, carrots, bananas, orange juice and apples would receive a 10 percent reduction on the current rate of consumption tax. The announcement to reduce the consumption tax was announced last April, but was put on hold until the Ministry could establish the Consumer Affairs Unit as a policing agency to ensure grocers were passing the tax cuts on to the consumers. This year’s theme for Consumer Rights Day is the same as last year’s: The Junk Food Generation campaign which calls for an end to the marketing of unhealthy food to children globally. “As we know, unhealthy diets are a major cause of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity,’said Cozier. “The concern emanated from the fact that approximately 22 million children worldwide are overweight.”Cozier announced new lower prices on nearly all agricultural animal feeds at the supply store. He said these price reductions are a reflection of world feed prices. The following are the reduced feed prices in EC$ of 50 pound bags: Chick starter dropped from $42.75 to $36.41, Pullet starter dropped from $41.75 to $33.08, Pellets dropped from $41.25 to $34.19, Pig rations from $40.00 to29.75, Sow rations from $38.25 to $29.75, Scratch from $39.50 to $34.75, GP rations from $35.50 to $27.53, Horse pellets from $41.50 to $28.64.

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