The Consumer Protection Service will present its initial proposal for the Household Basket in Cyprus to the stakeholders - the Hypermarkets Association, the Retailers Association, the OEB, and the CEB - at 12 noon on Wednesday. This is a measure that has been in effect in Greece for the past two weeks, with the goal of ensuring low prices for groups of products considered essential for a household. The Cypriot market is attempting to implement something similar. In this context, the Head of the Service, Konstantinos Karagiorgis, had contacts with the Greek Ministry of Development in the previous days, and they were informed of the practices followed. Based on this, the Consumer Protection Service has developed an initial proposal, which will be subjected to consultation before being finalized and submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval, and then to Parliament. According to the Secretary General of PASYLIE, the stakeholders will be informed of the Service's intentions on the issue during the meeting, and an initial exchange of views and positions will take place. However, the Ministry's goal is to complete the entire consultation process with the Cabinet and Parliament within the next few weeks, a schedule that is admittedly very tight.
This is essentially a legislative amendment to provide the Minister with the means to implement this measure, which is thought to have the potential to benefit consumers. According to the Consumer Protection Service, the preliminary proposal is to create a basket of about 50 types of products that would be sold at low prices. It is clarified that the Ministry will choose the product categories, but each supermarket participating in the program will choose the specific brand that will be sold at a low price. Each week, these on-sale items will be replaced with others from the same category.
The original proposal also states that the price of the selected product must be less than the current lowest price at which the product is available on the market at the time.
It is also worth noting that the proposal includes a 'cap' on product packaging in order to avoid very small packages that do not meet consumer needs and are rarely chosen. There will also be regulations in place to ensure that the measure's implementation does not distort the supply of products on the market.
[This article was translated from its Greek original and first appeared in Kathimerini's printed edition]