Price standardisation programme eases financial burden for Belaga folk

Umie Liau at Sg Asap sub-district office. (file photo)

SIBU, Aug 15: The price of 16.5 litres of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Belaga is now even cheaper than in Sibu and Kuching due to the price standardisation programme.

Sibu Kenyah Uma Baha Women’s Association, Umie Liau said today that she had done some price checking and found that the price of most essential goods in Belaga was either cheaper or on par with cities and towns in the state.

“It is true that under the programme, prices of essential items have been standardised. For example , a 16.5 litre tank of liquefied petroleum gas in Belaga is only RM26.60 which is even cheaper than in Sibu or Kuching,” she said.

In Sibu and Kuching, the same item cost between RM28 to RM30 depending on the location due to delivery charge.

Umie, who is a resident of Sungai Asap, noted that the programme brought immense benefit to the people in Belaga and nearby areas.

“Previously, the price of most essential items in Belaga was one of the most expensive in the state due to high delivery charge. Most residents in Belaga are mostly farmers and the high price of essential items is a big burden for them,” she said.

The programme has greatly benefitted rural folk in Belaga who are mostly from the low-income group.

The more than six hours’ transportation charge by four-wheel-drive for each person from Belaga to Bintulu was also quite steep, and could cost up to a few hundreds.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi in reply to Hulu Rajang MP, Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong at the Dewan Rakyat sitting on August 6, said the government had allocated a total of RM83.2mil, RM1.95mil of which was reserved for Hulu Rajang constituency for the programme.

The programme is for areas or constituencies which are difficult to be accessed, such as those located upstream of rivers and areas that lack infrastructure facilities.

Under the programme, he said the government had appointed 163 transporters nationwide to be responsible for purchase supplies from suppliers before delivering and selling them to point of sales (POS) at the respective areas of distribution.

Among the items in the programme are rice, sugar, 1kg or 1 litre cooking oil, wheat flour, LPG, RONS95 petrol and diesel.—DayakDaily