He said consumers should use the PenggunaBijak application to compare prices and options as the price of goods varies from a store to another, subject to factors such as source of supply, quality and capacity.
“It is hoped that the application will help users in making price comparisons and make the right choice,” he told yesterday’s press briefing.
Dr Awang said in cooperation with DARe (Darussalam Enterprise), DEPS has carried out monitoring of stock levels of basic goods including face masks and hand sanitisers at the supplier and retailer levels.
He said so far stocks of fragrant rice are adequate while storage stock has been increased to eight months.
The country has an adequate supply of chicken, meat and eggs as the goods can be obtained based on the availability in grocery stores and supermarkets while other items such as face masks, hand sanitisers, cooking oil and formula milk are found to be adequate in the market especially at the retail level so far; and at the supplier level, he said.
The main importers of dried food have sufficient stocks of around one to three months depending on the product and shelf life, such as cooking oil, powdered milk, frozen food, and canned food including food that have a high demand such as canned sardines, chicken curry and meat.
Importers also seek to diversify their sources of supply by obtaining alternative suppliers or brands to reduce the impact of price increases and supply chain disruptions, the minister said.
Items such as face masks and personal hygiene goods are considered basic necessities during this pandemic situation, the minister said.
He said DEPS advises businesses to sell goods at a reasonable and affordable price, and not to take the opportunity to increase the price of goods and will take action against businesses doing it without reason.
DEPS is constantly monitoring the prices and stocks of certain basic necessities on a weekly basis since December 2020. Information from this is shared with the public and posted on the DEPS website, PenggunaBijak applications and social media. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN