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You are being monitored  (Pics by Ravindra Dharmathilake)

Attention errant traders!

New Year shoppers have the assurance of being protected from the gimmicks of traders this festive season because the authorities have taken several measures to tighten the screws on cheats.  According to the Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), Rumy Marzook, 7,500 errant traders were apprehended by the CAA last month. When queried regarding the plans of the CAA during the festive season to make sure that the consumers do not face any unfair situation, he stated that a special squad has been appointed in order to monitor all the trade stores island- wide.

He added, “Competent   investigators have been appointed to the squad.” Referring to the apprehended traders, he added, “The reasons to apprehend these traders include selling above the maximum price, expired goods and unsuitable goods.”
Speaking to street vendors in Pettah, many shop owners said that sales have decreased in comparison to the last year. But most of these street vendors were unanimous, when they said that sales usually and gradually increase from the beginning of the month. When it comes to ready- made clothes ,Najaab ,a shop owner, pointed out that sale of ready- made clothes such saris with designer styles does not get affected.
But on a more serious note, some of the vendors complained that even though they have reduced prices and sales have increased, the profit has not changed very much. Others also complained that due to the changes in government regulations vendors are in debts.

Wedage Lalith Pushpakumara , who sells trousers in Pettah, said that his business is thriving  this season. He further stated, “ In other seasons we had to sell the old items, but this year all these clothing items are new.” ” People were afraid of war. But now people are really free unlike in the yester years.”

Raja, a curtain- seller in a store in Pettah admitted the crowd buys goods from Pettah for this New Year season is comparatively low, He added, “When comparing with the last year, customers are relatively low. So, the profit is also low. He further added that there is no profit from the curtains, adding that only those who are rich buy curtains. He also mentioned that the crowd which has been used to come to Pettah so far is now moving to the shopping malls in the Colombo City.

Lakshman  Mallikahewa, an owner of a shoe- shop in Pettah said that business will go up after April 5. The season started on March 26. He added that he sells shoes at the lowest price where in other shops the same shoes are sold at a higher price. He added that there is a big rush. He further added that there is a profit since the people are used to buy a big quantity of goods from the stores in Pettah.

Nazil, mobile phones seller in Pettah, said that they can earn more profit during the off- season. They have been selling mobile phones over the years. He further added that the crowd that comes in the off- season mostly buy the clothing material. “So, most of the vendors in Pettah sell different goods according to the season.”

Kanagaraj, owner of a textile and jewelry shop, said that they earn profit as usual.  He further added that they sell the good s at a whole-sale price.

An owner of a sari- shop said that during the festive season most of the people buy ready- made clothes. Since they are the direct importers, they sell the best materials. We get profits during the off- season, and mostly at the end of the year, in December,” he further added

Mohammed Saladi, an owner of clothing store, said that he started the shop on March 15, and added that they expect a lot of customers after April 5.

Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), Rumy Marzook said that there is an increase in the number of raids. “The CAA has conducted 4,000 raids in January, 6,000 in February and in March 7,000 raids.

He requested the public to inform the CAA regarding the complaints against the errant traders through   077- 1088927 and 077- 1088922.

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