Following a surprise inspection campaign targeting restaurants and traditional food outlets across the country, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has slapped fines on three outlets.
The penalty was for compelling clients to purchase sheep from their outlet as a condition to prepare Eid al-Adha feast, which represents a violation of Law No. 8 of 2008 on Consumer Protection.
The inspection campaigns come within the framework of the ministry’s efforts to monitor markets and commercial activities, crack down on price manipulation and uncover violations in a bid to protect consumer rights. A total of 51 restaurants and traditional food outlets were covered under the inspection campaign.
Article 10 of the Consumer Protection Law stipulates that "Suppliers shall not conceal or refrain from selling any commodity for the purpose of controlling the market price. Suppliers shall also not impose the purchase of certain quantities of a products or bundled commodities, and shall refrain from charging a price higher than the advertised.”
Violations of Law No. (8) of 2008 on Consumer Protection can result in administrative closure and financial penalties ranging between QR6,000 to QR1mn.
The MEC stressed that it will not tolerate any violations of Consumer Protection Law No. 8 of 2008 and its regulations and will intensify its inspection campaigns to crack down on violations. The MEC said it will refer those who violate laws and ministerial decrees to competent authorities, who will in turn take appropriate action against perpetrators in order to protect consumer rights.
The MEC has urged all customers to report any violations to its Consumer Protection and Anti-Commercial Fraud Department through the following channels: Hotline: 16001, e-mail: [email protected]
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