Sunday August 5, 2012
Ceiling prices set for 19 popular Aidilfitri items
KUCHING: Ceiling prices for 19 popular Hari Raya items will be imposed between Aug 12 and 26.
They include items from chicken to potato, with maximum prices varying slightly between south, central and northern Sarawak.
The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry is responsible for the cost-saving programme, which will run for 15 days.
“This is a cap on the maximum price,” said state director Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman.
“It is not a price control programme and there will be no element of subsidy in it. It is purely a government mandated corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.
“It is entirely up to retailers to set whatever prices, as long as it is below what the Government has gazetted.
Kuching, Bau, Lundu, Serian, Simunjan, Samarahan and Asajaya have been grouped together.
Traders in these areas must sell items like 1kg of tomatoes for under RM6. Others like Grade A eggs must be under 36 sen each, and 1kg of garlic under RM4.50.
To help retailers ensure profit margins are reasonable, the ministry has also set price ceilings for distributors for the 19 items.
Ahmad Uzir also urged the public to report cases of retailers or distributors who overcharged.
“Under the law, all those who flaunt our price ceilings for this period could face penalties of not more than RM500,000 or three years’ jail time, or both.
“These measures are strictly to help the people enjoy some cost s avings on these popular items prior to Raya,” he said.
“During other festive seasons, we pick other items that are popular.
“For instance, during Chinese New Year, we have to make sure garlic is very cheap; for Gawai, chicken, because ‘chicken in bamboo’ is a popular dish.
“The public must ensure that all complaints include details like name and location,” he said.
At the same time, price controlled items like sugar, flour and cooking oil should not vary in price, Ahmad Uzir added.
Ahmad Uzir said the public could call the complaint hotline between 8am and 9pm.
The number is 082-466 052.
Ahmad Uzir was speaking to reporters after launching a Hari Raya fair, which featured stalls by small and medium-scale enterprises, at the Boulevard shopping mall here yesterday.