PUTRAJAYA, Aug 5 — The ceiling price for face masks, which will be reduced to RM1.20 from RM1.50 beginning August 15, may be further lowered depending on the supply situation, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.
He said the price reduction was decided two weeks before the government made it mandatory for everyone to wear one from August 1 in public transportation and crowded places, apart from being a gradual step by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP).
“KPDNHEP is monitoring supply at the production, import and retail stages for the purpose of determining the appropriate maximum price reduction based on the current market situation,” he said in a statement today.
On July 23, Nanta announced that the ceiling price for face masks would be reduced to RM1.20 from RM1.50 per unit beginning August 15 while the wholesale price for the product would also be reduced from the current RM1.45 per unit to RM1.15 from the same date.
Nanta, meanwhile, said the ministry had also gazetted a ban on the export of the product under the Control of Supplies (Prohibition on Exports) Regulations (Amendment) 2020 to ensure there is sufficient supply of face masks in the market to meet current demand.
The ban, effective from March 18, was enforced as the government feared there would be another shortage worldwide and prices would suddenly spike, he said.
He added that through the monitoring of supply and production of eight local factories between April and July 28, it was found that 78 million units of face masks were produced and distributed in the market.
“There is no supply problem or shortage of face masks in the market at present,” he said.
He said consumers could now purchase fabric face masks as an alternative, adding that this would help reduce dependence on disposable ones.
“KPDNHEP guarantees that it will always find the best and balanced approach in the interests of various parties to ensure that the price of face masks can be controlled and are always available,” he said. — Bernama