JIS News

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Reginald Budhan, says the Government continues to play an active role in protecting consumer rights through the implementation of various rules and regulations.
He was speaking at a workshop of the ‘Promotion of Consumer Protection Project in the Caribbean’ held on December 8 at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel.
He noted that a number of Acts have been passed to regulate production, supply, price, quantity, quality, and distribution of goods and services, including the Consumer Protection Act, Sale of Goods Act, Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Act, and the Fair Competition Act, which established the Fair Trading Commission.
Mr. Budhan noted that while devising solid consumer protection laws is essential, “equally important is rigourous implementation and enforcement. Across the Caribbean, cooperation between national authorities is an essential component towards ensuring the smooth running of our markets. It is also necessary in order to combat dishonest trading across our borders,” he pointed out.
Mr. Budhan said the strategy should be “to prevent rather than to cure”, which can only be achieved when views are regularly exchanged and everyone works towards a common goal.
The Promotion of Consumer Protection Project is a three-year initiative being implemented in Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, which focuses on the promotion of consumer safeguards in the Caribbean. It was conceived against the background of the changing global economic environment, the formation of trading blocks, and the consequences and the opportunities that those provide for consumers and consumer protection in the Caribbean region.
The purpose of the project is to deepen regional integration and market reform in the target countries, through the strengthening of consumer protection capacity. It also seeks to re-enforce the capacity of the non-governmental and governmental agencies that are involved in consumer protection, to be able to more effectively carry out their mandate.
The Caribbean Consumer Council (CCC) has been mandated with the responsibility of representing consumer interests in a liberalised environment in light of the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).