KAJANG – Traders have been advised not to take advantage of the current haze situation and increase the price of face masks.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin said this was because face masks were controlled items with prices ranging from 20 sen to RM6 per unit, depending on the quality.
He said the ministry could take action against errant traders under the Price Control And Anti-profiteering Act 2011 and those found guilty could be compounded up to RM50,000 or charged in court and fined up to RM100,000 or three years’ jail.
“So far, there have been no complaints or arrests of traders who indiscriminately increased the price of face masks. The authorities are monitoring this,” he said.
Hamzah was speaking to reporters after visiting the KK Supermarket Group of Companies (KK Group) as part of the Price Reduction Campaign and the Buy Malaysian Products Pre-Campaign here today.
He added that the maximum wholesale price for a box (100 pieces) of one-layered face masks was RM5 and the maximum retail price was RM7.
Commenting on people who sold face masks which they got free, Hamzah said these people were allowed to sell at reasonable prices.
In a separate development, Hamzah said the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) was not a new thing but had been discussed for more than 10 years, and the government would only sign it after considering the interests of the people and the government itself.
“From the beginning, we held talks about the TPPA with traders and manufacturers to ensure that it was not detrimental to the people. The government has not yet decided to sign the TPPA.
“(Signing) the TPPA must get the agreement of the other ministries. We will take the TPPA to the Parliament, where the people through their elected representatives can discuss or make proposals,” he said.
Commenting on the visit, Hamzah said so far, 55 companies had participated in the price reduction campaign, including Giant, Tesco, AEON Big, The Store, Mydin, UP Superstore, TF Value Mart and 99 Speedmart Sdn Bhd.
He said it included 2,543 branches of supermarkets throughout the country including Sabah and Sarawak, and 934,873 products. – BERNAMA