KUALA LUMPUR: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) is in the midst of speaking to the Finance Ministry on the possibility of controlling the price of Ikan Kembung.
Its enforcement director Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin said this when asked about its plans to regulate the price of the mackerel fish.
"The prices of fish are not stable and dependent on supply which in turn depends on the weather, and the rainy season means there will be a hike in the price of fish," he said during a visit to Matahari Mall at Petaling Jaya here today to check on its commendable pricing practices.
Roslan however said that he expected the price to adjust itself after the rainy season while adding that the ministry would monitor traders to prevent exorbitant hikes and profiteering.
He was responding to the soaring price of fish which consumers have to face.
In August Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said the government would consider making fish a controlled item if the supply was stable throughout the year.
He was at that time in discussion with the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry to find ways to ensure sufficient supply.
Meanwhile Roslan also said that the 10 day price control for 16 essential foodstuff for Deepavali starts today.
He called the public to report errant traders directly to the ministry using their smart phone application Ez ADU or by calling their operations centre at 03-88826088.
Individuals who violate the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act of 2011 face a maximum fine of RM100,000 and imprisonment of not exceeding three years. They can also be compounded up to RM50,0000. Companies caught face a fine of RM500,000 or compounds up to R250,000.
He also said traders who failed to put pink price tags for price controlled items could be fined up to RM10,000 or compound up to RM5,000. While companies ccould be fined up to RM20,000 or compound up to RM10,000.
On another matter Roslan said the ministry would be looking into the proposed amendment to the Goods and Services Act of 2014 to ensure that consumer rights were protected.
He however said that the Finance Ministry and the Customs Department had yet to contact the ministry on the matter.
Consumers have been watching this development closely due to concerns of having to dig deeper into their pockets. Some have also groused that they may be charged double tax or fleeced by online traders.
Recently, Custom Department director-general T Subromaniam said that the GST Act would be amended to enable the government to collect billions of ringgit in taxes from foreign companies operating here under the digital economy.
He said the proposal for the amendment to the GST Act was still being discussed with the Finance Ministry and other relevant authorities.