No plans to expand list of price control food items for Raya, says Saifuddin

BATU CAVES: The government has no plans to add more food items to the current Festive Season Price Control Scheme for Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebrations, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

"It will be maintained at 27 food items," the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister said at a press conference after the relaunch of the Giant Hypermarket in Batu Caves on Thursday (May 23).

The Ministry had previously placed 27 types of goods under the Festive Season Price Control Scheme for 30 days in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.

The 30-day scheme started on May 21.    

Among the food items in the list are fresh and frozen kembung, selar and selayang, plus long beans, groundnuts and dried chilli.

Saifuddin said to fix the ceiling price on a food item there must be sufficient supplies, adding that there must also not be a fluctuation in price.

He said he would look into adding more food items in the future.

He added that he was currently satisfied with the prices of the 27 essential goods sold nationwide.

According to the minister, three days after the implementation took effect, traders complied with all the ceiling prices of the goods.

"I am pleased with two issues. First, there have not been any (traders) who priced the items more than the ceiling prices.

"Secondly, the (traders') ability to reduce the prices by a huge margin," he said.

Obserivng the prices at the Giant Hypermarket, Saifuddin was pleased with the outlet's compliance with the government's  ceiling prices. He said the price of chicken at the outlet was RM5.99 per kilo compared to the ceiling price of RM7.50 per kilo.

Saifuddin said he was also aware of complaints from traders outside the Klang Valley who wanted to increase the price of chicken but were unable to do so as some traders sold their chicken at RM3.99.

He said there was nothing he could do at this moment as the government only sets a "ceiling price and not the floor price".

"From a competition perspective, this is good for consumers," he said.

Saifuddin added that it was paramount for these food supply items to not be disrupted during this period and also for the prices to not increase drastically.

Also at the launch was GCH Retail Malaysia managing director Pierre Olivier Deplanck.


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