LUNDU, Oct 31 — Market competition will continue to drive down the price of Covid-19 self-test kits, said Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi.
He said the ministry has already approved issued letters of appointment to over 2,500 premises to sell the Covid-19 self-test kits
“The more premises being appointed to sell, the more brands of the self-test kits that will be imported. This will result in keen competition and drive down the price further,” he said during a press conference after visiting BS Supermarket, Lundu today.
Nonetheless, Nanta said the government will continue to set a ceiling price for the Covid-19 self-test kits to ensure businesses will not take advantage to hike the price once there is a surge in demand for the kits.
“In fact, the ceiling price we targeted is already higher than the price for some of the test kits being sold in the market currently. This bodes well for consumers and the market as whole.”
Nanta said establishing a ceiling price will allow the price of Covid-19 self-test kits to be stabilised in the market.
He also reminded the business community to be aware of the government’s plan to further lower the ceiling price for the Covid-19 self-test kits soon as to avoid being accused of ‘surprising’ the community without prior consultation.
On Friday, Nanta said a new ceiling price for the self-test kits will be announced in a week. The current ceiling retail price announced in September is set at RM19.90.
Meanwhile, during a visit to BS Supermarket at Lundu here today, Nanta presented a ‘Reasonable Price Shop Award’ certificate to the supermarket managing director Lai Boon Seng.
Nanta said the certificate was presented to recognise ethnical business owners who sell products at a reasonable price for the benefits of customers, especially those located in rural areas.
He said there were 139 shops throughout the state that had been awarded the Reasonable Price Shop’ certificate, with 40 shops in Kuching and Samarahan, Serian (three), Sri Aman (nine), Sarikei (17), Mukah (10), Sibu (11), Kapit (eight), Bintulu (seven), Miri (19), Limbang (10) and Lawas (five).
Furthermore, in conjunction of the upcoming Deepavali celebration, Nanta said only four major cities in the state, namely Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri, will be subjected to the food price control scheme.
“We are only implementing the price control scheme in these four cities as the Indian population in the state is not big.”
“For example, in places like Kapit, there might not be many people celebrating Deepavali except maybe the Indian teachers transferred from Peninsula Malaysia.”
Nanta said such approach was different from previously but it was more practical.
Also took place during the visit to BS Supermarket was food aid presentation by Tanjung Datu assemblywoman Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu to the needy group. — Borneo Post