Nanta: Price control extended to enable rural accessibility to essential goods

Alexander Nanta Linggi

KUCHING, Jan 14: The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has started the implementation of the distribution of its Basic Necessity Goods, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Community Drumming programmes for the year 2021 to address the rising prices of goods in the rural areas.

Its minister Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi, said the government has found that the community living in the rural and inland areas in the state had to pay a higher price for essential goods compared to those living in the urban areas due to high cost of transportation and the distances.

According to Nanta, other factors that contributed to the higher cost of transportation are the poor infrastructure facilities, connectivity, as well as the terrain formation.

“As such, on the basis of the government’s concern, the programme which was implemented since 2009 has successfully helped the community in the rural areas to enjoy seven basic items such as rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil, LPG, RON95 petrol and diesel at controlled prices.

“The distribution of the essentials goods is being carried out by the appointed transporter, which bought the supplies from the supplier in the city, which were later distributed and sold at the Point of Sales (POS) areas, under controlled prices,” he said in a press statement today.

Nanta noted, for the year 2021, the government has approved the programme with a total allocation of RM200 million, which is an additional of RM50 million (33 per cent increase) compared to RM150 million in the year 2020.

He said this additional allocation has enabled KPDNHEP to extend the implementation of the programme to more new areas that are in need.

“The government has also identified a total of 137 new distribution areas for the programmes in the year 2021, including in Terengganu and Pahang, especially in island such as Pulau Tioman, Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang, together with several new areas in Sarawak and Sabah,” he added.

On the same note, Nanta also disclosed the appointment of the distribution company for the year 2021 will be implemented under the standard operating procedure (SOP) that has been approved by the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

He pointed out that the outlines of the procurement procedures are based on the open tender principle, where the advertisement will be issued to invite any qualified company to apply as the transporter, and the process is expected to be completed by April 2021.

“In order to avoid the supply being cut off while waiting for the appointment of a new transporter company, the ministry has also agreed to extend the existing transporter’s contract until April 30, 2021. The ministry has issued an instruction to a total of 151 companies whose contract has been extended to perform their services with immediate effect, starting Jan 12, 2021.

“The ministry also assured that the supply of essential goods will continue to be available to the people with the extension of the existing company contract, and hoped that the program can help to alleviate the burden of the community in the rural areas, especially in Sarawak and Sabah, in coping with a difficult times during this Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. –DayakDaily.