BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Newtwork): The rise in logistics cost, such as plastic materials used in bottling water, is the major contributing factor for the recent increase in the price of bottled water in the country, said Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah.
However, bottled water will not be included as a controlled item, said the minister in response to a query on Saturday (Sept 18).
The recent discoloured tap water situation as well as water disruption in several parts of the country had caused people to buy more bottled water. According to a Bulletin survey, the prices increased by up to BND1.
The minister said the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (DEPS) officers contacted local bottled water companies for information on the price hikes.
“DEPS officers asked the bottled water manufacturers to cooperate and if possible, reduce profit margin to assist the public. The companies cooperated and pledged to minimise the price increase.
“They are not taking advantage of the water shortage to hike the price of bottled water. Certain bottled water brands are cheap and popular among the public, and any price increase affects the public,” the minister said.
The minister added that 22 items are already considered controlled items, including flour, petrol and powdered milk. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the DEPS has enhanced the monitoring of goods just like last December when the prices of chicken, meat and eggs increased.