Merchants who suka-suka want to increase price using Goods and Services Tax (GST) hike as their excuse better think twice now liao because a committee has been set up to conduct spot check and catch any merchants who do so.
According to Zaobao, the committee will especially focus on daily items commonly used or consumed by households in Singapore, to make sure that Singaporeans won’t be exploited by these orh-sim merchants who use GST hike as their opportunity to purposely increase prices.
These items will include your essential food items such as eggs lah, chicken lah, vegetables lah and also the food you buy from hawker centres and coffee shops, as well as non-food essentials like household products.
Prices of eggs gone up by 17% within a month, what’s going on eggsactly? Is it due to inflation?
Once the Committee Against Profiteering (CAP) receives complaints from consumers and confirmed that it is true that these orh-sim merchants are trying to make a profit out of using GST hike as their excuses, the names of these orh-sim merchants will be announced to the public.
Chaired by Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling, the committee includes 12 other members comprising business leaders, representatives of business associations and grassroots organisations, as well as Members of Parliament.
Speaking to the media today (16 March), Low Yen Ling said that the role of the committee is to investigate and address concerns that some orh-sim businesses may use GST increase as their reason to suka-suka raise price of essential products and services.
That is like cheating consumers, you know?
Where and how to bao toh?
Starting from 1 April, members of public who wish to bao toh merchants on “unjustified price increases” can do so via the committee’s official website at www.cap.gov.sg.
Information required will include details of the business, as well as the specific product and price increase.
All feedback submitted through the website will be reviewed and further investigated, if necessary, the committee said in a press release.
Upon receiving the report, the Committee Against Profiteering will work with partner agencies and organisations such as the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore, the People’s Association, and the Consumers Association of Singapore to investigate the feedback.
The committee will also engage the businesses to find out the reasons for a price increase and evaluate the explanations provided, and then determine if they are really trying to profiteer on the pretext of the rise in GST. If after investigation the merchant really so orh-sim, their name may be made known to the public.
The Committee Against Profiteering, first announced by Finance Minister Lawrence Wong in his Budget speech last month, was reconvened on Wednesday (16 March) and had its first meeting.
Singapore is set to raise its GST rate from 7% to 9% in two steps, with the first increase to 8% set to take place on 1 January 2023. The second increase to 9% will kick in on 1 January 2024.
Committee Against Profiteering will strengthen transparency
Low Yen Ling also emphasised that the Committee Against Profiteering will not impose additional burdens on businesses, and its role is to enhance transparency and ensure fair market competition.
Members of the committee also acknowledged the pressure that businesses are facing amid global supply chain interruptions and energy cost concerns, so while safeguarding the interests of consumers, the Gahmen has also adopted a series of measures to assist businesses.
In case you kaypoh who else is sitting in this Committee Against Profiteering, other than the chairperson Low Yen Ling, the 12 members are:
- Mr R Dhinakaran, President of the Singapore Retailers Association
- Mr Hong Poh Hin, Vice-chairman of the Foochow Coffee Restaurants and Bar Merchants Association
- Mr Andrew Kwan, President of the Restaurant Association of Singapore
- Mr Lam Yi Young, CEO of the Singapore Business Federation
- Mr Lim Hock Chee, CEO of the Sheng Siong Group
- Mr Loh Wee Lee, CEO of Lazada Singapore
- Ms Hazel Poa, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament
- Mr Seah Kian Peng, Member of Parliament and Group CEO of NTUC FairPrice
- Mdm Amatul Jameel Suhani, Chairperson of the People’s Association Malay Activity Executive Committees Council
- Mr David Tan, President of the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association
- Mr Yeo Hiang Meng, President of The Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore
- Mr Melvin Yong, Member of Parliament and President of the Consumers Association of Singapore
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