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Government to enact consumer protection bill

By SNO Staff

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Emma Hippolyte.

Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte has revealed that government is currently reviewing the National Consumer Rights Bill and plans to have it ratified soon.

Hippolyte made this announcement during her address on World Consumer Rights Day on Sunday, March 15.

The minister said she is aware of the issues consumers face, and that every effort is being made to ensure policies are implemented to facilitate fair trade in the marketplace.

“The attorney general has presented the draft bill to Cabinet for consideration and onward transmission to Parliament for enactment,” Hippolyte explained.

The minister noted that the bill will empower consumers to conduct business transactions with confidence, as consumers will be able to seek redress as prescribed in the legislation.

“I am pleased to inform that this new bill contains provisions that will seek to address many of the concerns consumers have voiced relating to consumer/supplier agreements and unfair contract terms, particularly matters relating to false or misleading representation and unfair or unjust transactions,” Hippolyte said.

President of the National Consumer Association (NCA) Kingsley St Hill has been calling on government to see the draft bill completed, approved and put into law at the soonest possible time; at least by this year.

Kingsley St Hill.

St Hill told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview on January 27, 2015 that the bill is long overdue.

The NCA head said consumers are already suffering and the bill must be approved and brought into law, so that their rights could be protected.

He also reiterated that the NCA has done “almost everything” possible in advocating for the bill to be passed in parliament.

In early January, St. Hill lashed out against a few businesses, who he claims have been engaged in false advertising.

The NCA head had said it is a wake -up call for government to enact the National Consumer Rights Bill.

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