Ceiling price for food items

Eye on the price: Hamzah checking out the items on sale at the Chow Kit wet market.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has set ceiling prices for 21 types of food items under the Hari Raya Puasa festive price control scheme.

The ceiling prices took effect yesterday and will continue until July 6, when Hari Raya Aidilfitri is expected to be celebrated.

Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said from observations over the past weeks, most of the 21 items were being sold at a higher price.

“For example, the price of chillies was RM16 a kilo in some places last week but it is now sold at RM12 a kilo due to the price control. This shows that there are still middlemen who are controlling the prices, which eventually affect the consumers,” he said during an inspection at the Chow Kit Market here yesterday. He said stern action awaited traders who failed to adhere to the regulations under the scheme, as stated in the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act.

“Traders will be compelled to sell controlled items below the ceiling price fixed by the Government and to put a special pink-coloured price tag on those items to differentiate them from other items.

“However, they are also encouraged to sell controlled items at much lower prices if their supplies come at relatively cheaper prices,” said Hamzah.

Ministry enforcement and price control officers will be in locations like public markets, morning markets and pasar tani to conduct regular inspections. Hamzah said this was a continuous effort to protect consumers and ensure they could get the necessities for the festive season at proper rates.

The 21 controlled items are live chicken, standard chicken, super chicken, local beef, imported beef (maximum price in Sarawak only), imported buffalo meat (India), chicken eggs – grade A, B and C, red chillies, tomatoes, whole coconuts (ceiling price at wholesale level only), grated coconut (ceiling price at retail level only), imported cabbage, imported onions, garlic (China), imported potatoes (China), ikan kembung, ikan selayang, and ikan tongkol.

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