Jul 11, 2011, 1:17 PM
The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment yesterday held a one-day sensitisation seminar on Hoarding (prohibition) Bill 2009 for members of the private and business community in the
Addressing the gathering, Mr Abodoulie Jammeh, Senior Economist at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment, said that it has been observed that some traders are in the habit of hoarding essential commodities, and thereby creates shortage in supply of commodities which often result in price increase.
According to him, the objective of the bill is to prevent hoarding and promote competition to ensure a fair trading environment that is beneficial to both business and consumers.
Giving references to the Hoarding (prohibition) Bill 2009, Mr. Jammeh described it as the importation, buying, selling, or other forms of trade whereby the importer, buyer, seller, or other person in business or trade of such goods keeps the goods from the public for purpose of spouting on a price increase.
Commenting on the provisions of the bill, he said, any person who hoards or allows another person to hoard goods, of which that person is the owner shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than ten years.
On the issue of aiding hoarders, he went on, any person who in any way assists an owner to hoard goods commit an offence under this act, adding that a person who contravenes the provision of this section shall be punished with imprisonment for three years and shall be liable to a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand, in default to serve three years imprisonment.
For his part, Mam Cherno Jallow, the Chief Executive Officer of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry revealed that government has made a strict warning that some businessmen are in the habit of hoarding, which he said, is unacceptable.
He strongly called on the business community to be more careful when its comes to selling of goods in the country, adding that some unscrupulous businessmen often buy in bulk and store it only to later sold it at high prices