Thursday, October 13, 2005

Egg, prawn and cabbage prices up


PUTRAJAYA: Food items such as eggs, white prawns and round cabbage will cost slightly more under ceiling prices the Government has set in the run-up to the festive season.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal said that Grade A eggs would now cost 2 sen more than the current market price of 28 sen each.

“Similarly, consumers will have to pay 50 sen more for round cabbage at RM2.50 per kilo. White pomfret and large white prawns are capped at RM40 per kilo compared with the previous RM33 and RM38 per kilo, respectively,” he told reporters after the post-Cabinet meeting here yesterday.

“This ceiling price is the result of the compromise between the ministry and the wholesalers and suppliers after many meetings and much monitoring of market trends.

“The prices are to allow them to still reap profits, but not too much. At the same time, these prices will not prove too burdensome to consumers.”

Shafie said egg suppliers wanted the ceiling price to be fixed at 32 sen for this period, from Saturday until Feb 28.

“But we finally agreed on 30 sen, which is comfortable for both traders and consumers,” he said.

Other items which will cost more are Grade B and C eggs. Grade B eggs will now be at 29 sen, up from 27 sen, while Grade C eggs will cost 3 sen more at 28 sen.

Imported beef, local and imported bone-in mutton, local mackerel, grated coconut, shallots, tomatoes, and Chinese cabbage will cost less under the ceiling price scheme, which covers 23 food items.

This year, Shafie said, the ceiling prices of these items would also be standardised within each state.

“Only chicken – both standard and super chicken, which will retail at RM6 and RM6.70 per kilo respectively – imported buffalo meat and Chinese potato will have their prices standardised in peninsular Malaysia,” he said.

Shafie said traders had been reminded to display pink price tags for controlled items and to adhere to the ceiling price, adding that failure to do so could result in their being compounded, fined up to RM15,000 or even jailed.

“We have also made arrangements with the Housing and Local Government Ministry to revoke the licences of any trader found to repeat the offence during this time,” he said.

Source: The Star

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