MALACCA: The price disparity of cooking gas cylinders in Malacca since April 1 has livid many households here.
Consumers claiming that the prices were set by traders according to their whims and fancies where some even charged Goods and Services Tax (GST) for gas cylinders which are supposed to be tax-free.
“We are confused why certain sundry shops were selling the cylinders cheaper than the others within the same neighbourhood.
“For instance, in Bukit Beruang, one outlet is charging RM29 while another charging RM27.50 for a 14kg cylinder,” said 62-year-old retiree Michael Cheng when interviewed during a check by StarMetro, recently.
The price check carried-out in various parts of the state also revealed that disproportion of prices were apparent from one area to another while the selling price varies from RM27.00 to RM29.90.
For instance in Banda Hilir, one 14kg cylinder without delivery is priced at RM28, Bukit Baru (RM27.50), Peringgit (RM27) and RM29.90 in Bukit Beruang.
In sub-urban areas such as Merlimau, a cylinder costs RM27, Jasin (RM27.50), Alor Gajah (RM27.60), Duyung (RM29) and RM29 in Teluk Mas.
Breadwinner Nasrul Hakim Affandi, 38, from Teluk Mas felt unfair when he was charged ridiculous rate close to RM30 by a trader at his neighbourhood.
“The trader even argued with me that his rate was in accordance with the ceiling price set by the Government.
“Some businessmen were taking advantage of the GST to simply charge customers without any remorse,” he said.
Nasrul Hakim also divulged that traders at Kandang were selling the same sized cylinder at ceiling price.
“It’s really perplexing to see such an inequity and it’s a blatant disregard to the law,” he added.
State Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism director Mohd Faisal Rahman said the government set the ceiling price for each 14kg cylinder at RM26.60.
He said some of the traders imposed delivery charges while some cited suppliers were charging them additional since GST debuted.
“Suppliers shouldn’t charge extra blaming that transportation costs had increased due to GST and pass the burden to traders and end-users.
“A minimal increase was acceptable not exorbitantly including imposing GST on gas cylinders,” he said when contacted.
He said the enforcement officers from his department and Customs were keeping vigil on unscrupulous traders and promises action against them.