Govt to improve consumer protection

The Ministry of Industry is planning to establish a new directorate general to protect consumers and ensure they can buy products that are up to standard.

Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said Tuesday the directorate general of consumer protection and standardization would be separated from the directorate general of domestic trade, which currently deals with both customer protection and the price stabilization of basic commodities.

“We are waiting for approval from the administrative reforms minister,” Mari said as quoted by Antara state news agency.

Due to financial constraints, the ministry has so far restricted its supervision to 10 priority products, including electronic goods, garments, children’s toys, footwear, and food and beverages.

Violations of the 1999 law on consumer protection in connection with the distribution of goods carry a maximum prison sentence of five years and maximum fine of Rp 2 billion (US$214,000).