Mauritius: The price monitoring and control application, ‘MOPRI’, enabling consumers to make informed purchase decisions through its features, namely a Price comparator, Basket of goods and Report a problem, was launched this morning, by the Minister of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation, Darsanand Balgobin, and the Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection, Soodesh Callichurn, in Ebène.
The ‘MOPRI’ application is a joint endeavour of Verde Frontier Solutions Ltd, the Ministry of Commerce and Consumer Protection, and the Ministry of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation. It was elaborated under the Public Sector Transformation Scheme of the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council.
In his address, Minister Balgobin stated that launching the ‘MOPRI’ application marked a turning point for the public service, especially in the price control sector and monitoring services which constituted an important measure of the status of trade and business in the economy.
He pointed out that the ‘MOPRI’ project was the second initiative being completed under the Public Sector Transformation Scheme. The creation of the first Application aimed at supporting innovative, collaborative projects that tested new approaches/ technologies by start-ups and SMEs for improving processes and enhancing service delivery in the public sector.
Moreover, Darsanand Balgobin reiterated his Ministry’s objective of establishing the right ecosystem for Mauritius to embrace innovation while calling for a new mindset towards creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship among the population.
As for Minister Callichurn, he underlined that the launching of ‘MOPRI’ bore testimony to the Government’s pledge and determination to provide the population with the best possible support and protection in the face of international economic difficulties, which undoubtedly impacted their purchasing power.
He pointed out that the ‘MOPRI’ Application would be a fundamental tool, accessible to all members of the public and stakeholders, allowing them to compare prices of products and make an intelligent purchasing decisions. “It will automatically flag any case of price mismatch with the regulated retail prices falling under the purview of the Ministry,” he said.
The Minister averred that the new Application was expected to be more citizen-focused, where consumers would have access to the retail prices of a basket of 100 commodities, that is, more than 450 brands being disseminated on ‘MOPRI’ in an impartial manner. “The defined basket of commodities will, of course, be reviewed regularly,” he added.
According to Mr Soodesh Callichurn, with the implementation of the project, the country was crossing a new milestone in consumer protection for ‘MOPRI’, which would ease the task of simplifying price monitoring. He informed that the Application would also facilitate reporting complaints directly by consumers, almost instantly, and allow follow-up on progress made in resolving reported issues.
He stressed that it would enable, too, the flagging of defaulting traders, allowing officers of his Ministry to respond more quickly and conduct their enforcement duties.
Furthermore, the Minister spoke about the external factors which impacted the price of consumer products and consequently affected the disposable income of the consumer and his/her standard of living, namely the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia / Ukraine war.
He emphasised that Government had stepped up measures, including providing subsidies on essential commodities and imposing price control on products of wide consumption to mitigate the effects of the crises.
Minister Callichurn further informed that at the level of his Ministry, the following measures had been taken:
- Price controls on essential commodities by stabilising prices.
- State interventions in the supply of commodities.
- Strengthening dialogue with stakeholders to protect consumers’ purchasing power and the population’s interest.
The Minister stressed that the Government was committed to providing a protection net to consumers while recalling that numerous measures had been taken by the Government, amounting to more than Rs 125 billion in subsidy and other support measures.
Read Here below to learn What MOPRI’ Application is:
The Application is a user and inspector mobile application which, on the one hand, will provide consumers with greater visibility of prices of widely consumed commodities. On the other hand, it will help Officers of the Consumer Affairs Unit discharge their duties.
The purposes of the Mobile Application are to provide information to members of the public on the prices of the most consumed products in main outlets; be a mobile inspector application for Officers of the Consumer Affairs Unit; be a website for the informative process; provide back-end facilities for the processing of complaints and the management of the interaction between users; and generate analytical reports which would be used for evidence-based policy formulation.
The Application can be downloaded on App Store, Google Play and AppGallery as of today.