Prices of food items to be closely monitored for CNY, says deputy minister

Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen (left) said the prices of most food items have dropped, January 19, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen (left) said the prices of most food items have dropped, January 19, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Jan 19 — The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs will closely monitor the prices of food items in view of the coming Chinese New Year (CNY) next month, its deputy minister Chong Chieng Jen said today.

He said the government does not want the traders to raise the prices of food items, taking advantage of the demands by the consumers just before CNY.

“We will continue to closely monitor of goods in the market to make sure that there is no profiteering by the traders,” he told reporters at the ministry’s office here.

Chong said the government will also impose price control on food items generally used during the CNY.

He also said that the prices of 70 per cent of the goods sold in supermarkets and hypermarkets in Kuching have shown a marked decrease after the abolition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and then replaced with Sales and Services Tax (SST).

He said the ministry has daily records of food items from each supermarket and hypermarkets in Kuching, especially dressed chicken, chicken parts, eggs, fish and meat.

“The largest drop in price is garlic which shows a drop by 40 per cent as compared to January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2018,” he said.

He said competition from mini markets have also led to the decrease in prices of food items sold in supermarkets and hypermarkets.

“This is good because it is the consumers who are benefiting from the competition,” he said.

Chong also said that since the introduction of SST in September last year, the prices of food items have stabilised.