More than half-a-million residents registered for the government’s Electronic Consumption Benefit Scheme this year.
According to the Economic and Technological Development Bureau (DSEDT) and the Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM), 266,000 chose to use their mobile device platform to benefit from the scheme, while 296,000 opted for using conventional “e-consumption cards”.
The bureaus noted that as of yesterday, when the scheme started, 447,000 residents had received their start-up fund of MOP 5,000 and discount of MOP 3,000; 241,000 residents received the money automatically via their mobile device platform, while 206,000 have topped up or picked up their “e-consumption cards”.
The validity period of the measure has been extended to nine months, which means residents are able to use the pecuniary benefits until 28 February. The scheme can also be used to pay water, electricity, LPG, motor fuel, telecommunication and audiovisual broadcasting bills.
The Economic and Technological Development Bureau and the Consumer Council will monitor the prices in the local market and follow up on residents’ reports about any price gouging, as well as distributing leaflets to merchants about the scheme’s rules.
According to DSEDT officials, no cases of price gouging were discovered by inspectors yesterday, The Macau Post Daily reported.
Price gouging occurs when a seller increases the prices of goods, services, or commodities to a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair. Usually, price gouging occurs after a demand or supply shock.
The officials pointed out that merchants found to resort to price gouging face the possibility of their businesses being removed from the scheme for a period of time.