The Turkish government is taking measures to protect consumers by imposing large fines for those that engage in unlawful practices.
As part of those efforts, a parliamentary commission has passed a draft bill that would introduce higher fines for engaging in stockpiling practices, a move which is designed to rein in on fast-rising prices.
On Dec. 16, the parliament’s industry, trade, and technology commission discussed and approved the legislation proposal which makes amendments in certain articles of the existing law that regulates retail trade.
The legislation approved at the commission foresees higher fines for producers, suppliers and retailers for engaging practices which may distort the free competition, the working of the market and result in a shortage of goods. The draft law redefines the practice of stockpiling.
According to the legislation, the lower and upper limits of fines for stockpiling will be increased to 100,000 Turkish Liras ($6,400) and 2 million liras ($127,000) from the current 50,000 liras and 500,000 liras, respectively.
The legislation is expected to be discussed in the general assembly of parliament in the coming days.
The draft law was prepared by lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) amid widespread complaints among the public regarding the sharp increases in the prices of many goods over the past weeks.
Government officials argue that the depreciation of the Turkish Lira against major foreign currencies cannot alone explain the excessive price increases.
Meanwhile, units from the municipality police in the Sultangazi district of Istanbul conducted inspections in supermarkets to check the prices of staples foods and their inventories.
Officials said that during inspections they found discrepancies between the price tag on certain products and the prices customers are charged for those products at cash register and that they sent documents to the Trade Ministry for further assessments.
On a related note, the Trade Ministry has decided to increase fines by 36 percent for 2022 for businesses that deceive consumers and sell defective goods.
Fines for establishments that sell products which put consumers’ safety and health at risk will also be hiked by 36 percent.
New regulation foresees up to 31,000 liras fine for misleading advertisements aired on local channels and the fine for similar advertisements goes up to 622,000 liras if aired on national TVs.