Time for Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission to also focus on competition, says PSC official

Last Updated on Monday, 28 November 2022, 16:24 by Denis Chabrol

Veteran consumer rights activist Pat Dial (seated) and recipients of the Suppliers Compliance Awards. (Department of Public Information picture). 

The Guyana Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (GCCAC) is being challenged to go after rogue businesses rather than only focusing largely on consumer protection, according to the Chairman of the Trade and Investment Committee of Guyana’s Private Sector Commission (PSC) Ramesh Dookhoo.

“I heard very little of competition activities by the CCAC. There are a lot of rogue businesses out there that are doing a lot of things that are not correct according to our law and we need to focus a little bit more on competition and fair trading rules here in Guyana,” said Mr Dookhoo, a former Chairman of the GCCAC Board.

He spoke very briefly while presenting an award to recognise veteran consumer rights advocate, Pat Dial, at the GCCAC’s inaugural compliance awards ceremony held at the weekend.

Mr Dookhoo said the GCCAC was not inly about consumer affairs but also about fair trading and the protection of shareholders. He challenged the Commission to forge ahead with previous efforts to enact legislation to govern mergers and acquisitions. “Some time ago, we did come very close to introducing merger and acquisition legislation in Guyana which has to do with the protection of small shareholders and I hope that the CCAC can continue with that effort to introduce mergers and acquisition legislation in Guyana,” he said.

Mr Dial supported Mr Dookhoo’s call, saying that competition does not only mean competition among persons or businesses. “I think this is an area now that now that we are in these new developments, it’s becoming more and more urgent. Actually, in some ways it’s more important than consumerism,” he said.

The compliance awards were: Massy Distribution Guyana Inc. Agricultural Machinery & Spare Parts, in the ‘Best Warranty Policy’ category; Caribbean Motor Spares won ‘Most Compliant Auto Industry’; Telco Solutions won ‘Most Compliant– Electronics’, and Silvie’s Industrial Solutions copped the award for ‘Most Compliant— Other Industries’.    John Lewis Styles was awarded the prize for ‘Best Consumer Experience’. Director the GCCAC Anil Sukhdeo said the awards are aimed at stimulating competition among suppliers to be known as the best who comply with the rules governing warranty, refund, exchange, and return. and improve the quality of service being delivered to consumers.

CCAC Board Executive Nalini Singh  said the Compliance Awards ceremony was conceived to recognise businesses for upholding standards, laws and regulations. “Here at the Commission, we interact with businesses more when they err, not when they do good so last year it was decided that we will issue businesses with Compliance Certificates and the current board saw this process as just not being enough. We wanted to do a bit more to really show our appreciation to do those business that go out there and show and excel in honouring consumers in their rights,” she said.

The GCCAC has, among other things, formulated a Homebuilder’s  Road Map that provides a detailed guide from land acquisition to the final walkthrough of the building and a Vehicle’s Checklist that guides persons in buying vehicles.