CPA chalks out 10-point plan to monitor prices

Jeddah, July 9 – The Consumer Protection Association (CPA) is working on two road maps, one for its programs and another for curbing price hikes, said Dr. Nasser Al-Tweam, the organization’s president.
A 10-part strategy to curb price-fixing will act as a guiding principle for the authorities and consumers, according to Dr. Al-Tweam.
“We have priorities and dossiers related to people’s health and their awareness and safety,” he said. “These are important dossiers.”
The road map for prices is based on four pillars: First, to reorganize and restructure a viewpoint by some government authorities; second, to effectively stimulate the monitoring and supervisory roles of the bodies related to government monitoring; third, to create incentives through a system known as “the trader – the consumer’s friend” by adopting the principle of ethical marketing; and fourth, creating a qualitative consumer and legal culture.
This is a partnership among several parties including the government authorities concerned with monitoring and control, businessmen, civil society institutions and the consumer, Dr. Al-Tweam said.
As part of its new strategy, the CPA will launch a consumer-protection prize, a smart-price index and a center to train monitors, he said.
It will also benefit from part-time personnel that it will hire and train to detect price fraud, he added.
The organization will also boost awareness among consumers through a diverse campaign to tell people about their rights and protect them from exploitation, Dr. Al-Tweam said.
It will also work to improve the legal and financial cultures and combat shops that levy surcharge on citizens’ purchases, he added.
“We have ambitious projects which will depict the society in a new form,” Dr. Al-Tweam said.
The organization deals with the numerous sectors that are directly related to the consumer’s worries, he said.
Fraud has spread in some of these sectors and consumers do not know their rights, Dr. Al-Tweam said, so the Consumer Protection Society will give priority and importance to the consumers.
He said the group has accomplished more than 50 projects and programs, and pointed out that if 10 percent of this effort is achieved, it will make a qualitative change in protecting the consumer and his health, safety and economy, and increase the consumer and legal culture in the society.
The Consumer Protection Association has rented its headquarters and branches in the Eastern Province, Jeddah, Madina, Hail and other cities, and remaining branches and offices would be made ready in the near future, Dr. Al-Tweam said