Celebrating without pain

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/12/21/nation/16376921&sec=nation

Thursday December 21, 2006

Celebrating without pain

PUTRAJAYA: Consumers, especially those celebrating Chinese New Year, will not have to cut corners as far as food is concerned because the Government has promised that a reasonable ceiling price will be set for 17 essential food items.

The practice, which had been enforced in the past few years during the festive season, will take effect a week before and after the Chinese New Year and will include mandatory food items such as white pomfret and large white prawns.

Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk S. Veerasingam said the ministry would announce this next month, and that the Government had set a ceiling price for other items such as chicken, local and imported beef and mutton, chicken eggs, imported round cabbage, red chillies, grated coconut, shallots and tomatoes.

The move has proven to be successful in curbing inflation and to enable the people to celebrate their festivals without having to pay exorbitant prices for food items.

This year, however, we have shortened the implementation period by having it separately for Deepavali and Hari Raya Aidilfitri and also for the Chinese New Year, following requests from traders who felt that last years four-month period was too long, he said when contacted yesterday.

He said the ministry had managed to keep prices of 60% of the goods similar to last years rates and had brought down the prices of 21% of the items on the list.

Veerasingam said prices of the 15 items were set after the ministry received feedback from consumer groups, suppliers, importers, traders associations, the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry, Fama, Malaysian Fisheries Development Board and Veterinary Services Department.