Prices of goods in rural S’wak to be standardised next month

19 Mar 2019 / 15:40 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The prices of some basic consumer goods as well as fuel will be standardised across Sarawak from April 1.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister Chong Chieng Jen (pix) said the move was in response to complaints that rural folks had to pay higher prices for their daily needs compared with their urban counterparts.

He explained that such items cost more in the rural areas, especially those in remote locations, because of transportation costs. However, such costs will be borne by the government from April 1.

Chong was responding to a question on why the prices of wet goods remained high despite the abolition of the goods and services tax (GST), and if the ministry intended to set up offices in rural areas to monitor prices.

He said the government had engaged contract transporters for the task.

However, there are no plans to set up offices to monitor prices in rural areas.

“When the programme is implemented, those living in the rural areas will pay the same price as those in urban areas,” he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Among the items included in the programme are RON95 fuel, diesel, rice, sugar, cooking oil and flour.

In Sarawak, the prices of the same items usually cost more in the rural areas compared with the urban areas. In its election manifesto, Pakatan Harapan pledged to address the issue.

On another question on how the government would ensure prices remained in check, he said his ministry was hiring more than 1,400 officers to do the job nationwide.

“Action will be taken against those who raise prices to exorbitant levels,” he added.

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