Move to lower food cost

  • Nation
  • Friday, 22 May 2009

MIRI: The Government is looking at ways to reduce the disparity in the price of essential foodstuff in parts of Sabah and Sarawak and the peninsula.

Deputy Domestic Trade and Con­sumer Affairs Minister Datuk Tan Lian Hoe said the price of some foodstuff and daily necessities in rural regions in the two states were 10% to 30% higher than in the peninsula.

Tan, who is on a working visit to Miri and Limbang to look into the price situation, said her ministry was seeking ways to reduce this disparity.

“I am trying to get as much feedback as possible from the people on the price differences.

“Most of the disparity involved goods which have to be transported inland into rural settlements. These goods need to be heavily-subsidised in terms of their transportation charges if we are to be able to bring prices down to the level in the peninsula,” she told reporters here yesterday.

Tan visited the Miri Native Market, Miri Fish Market and an economy warehouse along the Sarawak-Brunei Highway to speak to local traders and get their views on current business and price issues.

She said the Government had already spent millions on subsidies to bridge the price differences between rural and urban zones.

However, in order for these subsidy schemes to be effective, there needed to be better coordination between state agencies and federal agencies for the subsidies to be channelled to the target groups of rural consumers, she said.

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