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Wednesday, 3 March 2011

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A welcome decision

The decision taken by Minister Johnston Fernando to have the price mark displayed on all products advertised on television is a commendable one. This will now enable consumers to do a budgeted shopping with the knowledge of the exact price of the goods they intend purchasing, beforehand. This will also prevent consumers being cheated by unscrupulous traders and also eliminate the blackmarket to some extent. The Minister must also ensure such price marks displayed are the authentic ones because any one can place whatever price that takes his fancy. A special unit should be appointed to monitor this aspect to detect arbitrary pricing.

The absence of a price mark on most goods have resulted in different prices for the same item or commodity at different sales points. The latest move will ensure uniformity. The price mark will also obviate the need for bargaining and haggling by consumers leading to unpleasant scenes.

Shoppers can now be assured that they are not being taken for a ride with uniformity in prices assured. Often times one comes across price marks on certain products particularly in the super markets that are well below what is actually being charged and the stock answer is that such price marks were done before the latest price increases. A method should be found to overcome this and the actual price mark attached thus eliminating the chances of customers being fleeced. All price marks in products should be updated.

According to our story in the inside pages yesterday the Government has made compulsory the displaying of prices of products that are promoted and advertised through the print or electronic media with effect from March 1. The Minister also stated that the Government has brought new laws to prevent advertising of products without displaying their prices. Advertising firms will henceforth have to display price tags on the products of their clients.

While the Minister's move to save consumers from being cheated where prices are concerned deserve praise he must also take steps to ensure all other aspects in the products confirm to required standards and are safe for use. We say this because with the new regulation to display prices on products coming into force there will be a tendency on the part of some product manufacturers to tamper with the product in other ways. There will be a tendency by some to reduce the weight, capacity and volume of the product and also employ other devious ways to ensure profits are not affected, which will negate the Minister's good intentions.

Therefore it is equally important to ensure that the consumer is not cheated in other ways and receive value for money. There is also a need to ensure quality of the product on display. Today there are many products in the open market that are of dubious quality but are marketed successfully through the use of ingenious methods. One wonders whether some of these products are even subject to the scrutiny of the responsible authorities and are subjected to standardization.

It was only the other day that the media highlighted the story of how a schoolboy died of food poisoning after consuming a soft drink while the mother who too partook of the same was admitted to hospital in a serious condition. Earlier too there were many instances of people falling ill after consuming some grandly advertised product. Therefore not stopping at pricing, the Minister should also go into the quality aspect of the item particularly where it concerns food and drink. It has been found that today the various food items and drinks that are on display at even posh supermarkets are of questionable quality and of little nutritional value and in fact harmful to health contrary what is being advertised on the packages, labels and on TV which is being exploited by multinational food chains to foist their products on the unsuspecting public. Recent researches have even concluded that there are cancerous substances in the colour agents used to manufacture certain drinks.

The Minister therefore should extend his mission to protect the consumer from blackmarketeers to ensure people are not affected health wise through being lured into going for dubious food and drink items tantalizing arrayed on the shelves of our super markets. He should insist that all products be subjected to proper standardization and punish those who fail to adhere to these guidelines. Today with a burgeoning fast food industry and advertising gimmicks there is a likelihood of consumers being lured more into unhealthy eating habits that has already taken a heavy toll in the form of diseases related to obesity such as diabetes, blood pressure, cardiac arrest etc costing money to the State. Therefore a check should be done on this aspect of advertising too in the interest of the public.

We received correct leadership to win war

The present situation is the LTTE cannot wage war again against Sri Lanka. But it is still functioning overseas. The LTTE tries to destroy the countryís image abroad. We must counter their propaganda. The entire world should know this was an operation that was fought to liberate the Tamil community as well

Full Story

Will Devindu Senal Herath be our next Sanath Jayasuriya?

This is World Cup time and being a cricket lover I canít get enough of the action, at least outside the venues and the television. I am tension-averse so I wimp my way through matches courtesy cricinfo.

Full Story

SLAF - highly professional outfit:

Rendering indispensable, humanitarian service

During this period the RAFs heavy transports and AN-22 transport aircraft from Russia were streaming into Katunayake carrying 2 KA-26 helicopters and 6 MIG ground attack aircraft with their associated arms and servicing and control equipment.

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