T. AVINESHWARAN AT THE PERAK STATE ASSEMBLY
WHILE many people feel that the rise in the prices of goods and services is due to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Non-Governmental Organisations, Civil Society and Anti-Crime Committee chairman Datuk Samsudin Abu Hassan explained GST is not the only reason for rising prices.
Samsudin said, to solely pin the blame on GST is not right and there are other factors involved in higher prices.
“Increases in demand and production costs, unexpected factors like weather and natural disasters, the world economic climate and the actions of the traders themselves all play a part,” he said in answering Wong Kah Woh’s (DAP-Canning) oral question.
To another question from Datuk Mohd Tarmizi Idris (BN-Kenering) on how the price increases are affected people, Samsudin said the state was aware that people, especially those from the lower income group, was affected by higher prices.
“We are aware and we are working on it. I know there are some people who are taking advantage of this situation by increasing the prices of goods
“We will not keep quiet and some of the efforts taken by the government in cooperation with the State Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Department is to ensure that goods are sold at reasonable prices,” Samsudin said, adding that some of the steps taken included enforcement of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 to curb unreasonable profiteering.
Besides this, he said the state government formed the People’s Complaint Action Squad (STAR) and Special Action Squad (SAS) to address queries, feedback and to solve complaints quickly and efficiently.
“We are also adding enforcement officers in focus areas to create ethical and safe business environments.
“The government is confident that continuous enforcement through various programmes and actions will be able to halt errant traders from exploiting the higher prices of goods.
“Our concern is for the people and we will do our best to ease their burden,” he said.