Provided that the Parliament will advance within a reasonable period of time the passing of the bill
From autumn and until the end of the year, it foresees the possibility of applying the law on the electronic shopping cart (e-kalathi) o Director of the Consumer Protection Service Konstantinos Karagiorgis, provided that the Parliament will promote within a reasonable period of time the passing of the bill that is before it into law, making it clear at the same time that the government will not change the philosophy of the bill.
The President of the Pancypriot Union of Consumers and Quality of Life, Loukas Aristodemou, speaking at KYPE, called on Members of Parliament and supermarkets to discuss “openly, positively and transparently the bill so that the consumer can have a choice based on his financial ability”.
The bill regulates the recording and monitoring of retail prices of products, the process of collecting and monitoring the retail prices of consumer products by the Consumer Protection Service with the aim of enabling the implementation of a digital tool, which will provide the consumer with price transparency , price comparison and immediate information on the prices and availability of important household products.
The Director of the Consumer Protection Service reported to KYPE, that there was a first debate in the Parliamentary Trade Committee on the principle of the bill submitted by the Government, stressing that the Service and the Ministry of Trade have no intention of changing the philosophy of the legislation submitted to the Parliament and an invitation from the Parliament to continue the discussion is expected.
He added that if any clarifications are needed “we can provide them, either during the discussion of the bill, or in a private meeting, but his philosophy proposed law is too simple”.
Continuing, he explained that the most important provision of the bill creates the obligation for companies to send their data daily, noting that issues “such as product codes and other issues that arise will be regulated during construction”.
He further pointed out that “it is important that similar and not dissimilar products are compared”, expressing the belief that “this is a tool that will provide transparency, it has value and we insist that it should go forward”.
When asked if there is a time horizon for the implementation of the legislation, he said that “when two months ago we went to the Parliament in the presence of the Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry Giorgos Papanastasiou we explained exactly the intention of the Government and they told us “very well go ahead””.
Continuing, he said that “we moved forward, in a month and a half we returned the legislation to the Parliament, which was a record time, and we expect the Parliament to proceed with the article-by-article discussion and adopt it”.
He also noted that the Service is able to immediately promote the implementation of the law, as the tenders are almost ready and when the law is passed by the Parliament, “we will proceed with its implementation and application, through the required procedures of the tenders”.< /p>
At the same time, he clarified that the bidding process takes time and indicated that if the Parliament promotes the passing of the bill into law within a reasonable period of time, its implementation will be possible from autumn until the end of the year.< /p>
All Cyprus Union of Consumers and Quality of Life
The President of the All Cyprus Union of Consumers and Quality of Life referred to the two bills tabled in Parliament, one tabled by the previous Government and the second by the current Government saying they are identical and their difference is that the previous one provided for 1250-1500 products and was called the household basket and the new one provides for 500-600 products, which will eventually end up in 300 products.
He added that there were reactions to the previous bill for this and during the previous administration despite its submission to the Parliament, after the first debate it “disappeared”.
Regarding the new bill, he said that during the first discussion on the matter in the Trade Committee of the Parliament, which took place in the presence of the Minister of Trade, the supermarkets raised an issue regarding the provision for the €8 million turnover , which was deemed an excessive amount for supermarkets and thus in the new text of the bill submitted to the Parliament, the amount was reduced to €2 million turnover.
Mr. Aristodemou expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the new Minister of Commerce and the new Minister of Finance show sensitivity towards the consumer and adopt the request of consumer organizations for transparent information to consumers regarding prices so that they can choose where and what to buy.
< p>He then said that he categorically refutes positions expressed by Members of Parliament that the additional costs that the implementation of the proposed law will bring to supermarkets by registering products on the platform will be passed on to consumers.
This is not the case and there will be no additional costs, as all supermarkets are identified electronically, he said, adding that they will not need to register all products daily, but only new products or products that differ from the existing registration.
He noted that this is already done in every supermarket with new product deliveries, adding that “these appeals are prefaces because some do not want the law to be passed”.
If they are objective and they want the consumer to be able to exercise their rights, they must show good will and contribute with suggestions to pass a law that covers basic consumer products, he said, such as chicken and flour.
According to him, the platform will not be a patchwork, but “with positive additions to its philosophy, specific tools should be given to consumers so that they can make the most beneficial decisions for their needs”.
He expressed also the opinion that the implementation of the legislation will create conditions of healthy and transparent competition between supermarkets.
Citing the example of the implementation of the corresponding legislation in Greece, where there is special labeling of the basket products, he said that after the first problems identified were resolved, the implementation of the legislation and the choice of consumers had the effect of reducing prices from wholesalers and suppliers from 3% to 15%. “Essentially, no damage was incurred by anyone, but the profit was simply limited,” he added.
When asked when the consumer will be able to benefit from the legislation under discussion, Mr. Aristodemou said that during the last discussion in the Parliamentary Trade Committee, the impression was created that neither DISY nor AKEL want the bill passed into law. According to him, DISY seems to be positioned in favor of the position of supermarkets, each supermarket creating its own basket, position. For AKEL, he said that it seems that his disagreement lies in the fact that POVEK was not invited to the public consultation and that later in public statements AKEL MP Kosta Kosta stated that his party is not opposed.