Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether the Ministry has monitored business practices since the onset of COVID-19 for opportunistic profiteering especially during periods when stricter health measures are in place, such as during the circuit breaker and Phase Two (Heightened Alert) periods; and (b) what system of safeguards are in place to prevent and address such occurrences.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Gan Kim Yong
1. The Government keeps a close watch on the prices of essential goods and has investigated businesses suspected of profiteering during the pandemic. For example, MTI investigated a number of retailers that had jacked up the prices of masks last year. So far, incidents of profiteering are not widespread. We are continuing to work closely with companies and suppliers to ensure that there is ample supply of essential goods.
2. The best safeguard against profiteering is competition. The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) will investigate any price surge resulting from anti-competitive behaviour by businesses. We encourage consumers to report such cases to us.