Saturday, January 16

Traders warned against hiking chicken prices


SIBU: Costlier chicken feed does not warrant a corresponding increase in the prices of chicken and traders marking up chicken prices risk having their trading licence revoked.

Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Sibu branch chief Balraj Singh said stern action could be taken against wholesalers or retailers if they jacked up the prices of chicken to offset cost increase.

Chicken is on the list of government price-controlled items.

Balraj said increase in chicken feed price was inconsequential or not justifiable for traders to increase the prices of chicken.

Traders should absorb the increase and not pass it down to consumers, he stressed.

“Chicken is a controlled item and unscrupulous traders manipulating the prices beyond that approved by the government, can be slapped with a stiff penalty,” Balraj told The Borneo Post when asked if the hike of chicken feed price effective Nov 1, could force up the prices of chicken here.

Manufacturers cited the soaring prices of raw materials in the world market as the reason for the hike in the price of chicken feed.

Elaborating, Balraj stressed that hiking the price of controlled item and in this instance, chicken, contravened the Control of Supplies Act 1961.

On conviction, an offender could be slapped with a fine of RM100,000 or three years’ imprisonment or both.

He said the retail prices for standard chicken (complete with head, feet, liver and gizzard) and super chicken (without head, feet, liver and gizzard) are RM8/kg and RM8.80/kg respectively.

Balraj also reminded traders to display pink price tags for items listed under Deepavali Price Controlled Scheme from Oct 31 till

Nov 9.

Meanwhile, he said the wholesalers had collectively assured him that there would not be any shortage in essential goods.

Sugar, he added, was in ample supply as the bulk shipment of 700 metric tonnes (mt) arrived here recently.

Towards this end, he assured that his officers were constantly on the ground to keep tabs on the market situation.

He thus urged people to forward their complaints to his office if they noted of unhealthy business practices.

Consumers can call the office on 084-335622/329202 to channel their complaints.