KUALA LUMPUR - Chicken, mutton, onions and red chillies will be among 18 items that will be price-controlled during this year's Deepavali festivities.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin said the items could not be sold above the ceiling price set by the ministry.
"The supermarkets and hypermarkets we talked to told us that the ceiling price we set is higher than their prices for the items.
"(So) don't be mistaken, the ceiling price is not the price the items will be sold at - it is the maximum traders can charge for these items," Zainuddin told a press conference.
He said traders selling the 18 items above the set ceiling price would be prosecuted.
"The items will be denoted with a pink tag to show that they are price-controlled.
"I urge all traders to help the consumers, especially the Indian consumers, by ensuring that prices (of essential items) do not jump up during the Deepavali festivities," he said, adding that enforcement officials would inspect shops across the country regularly.
The price control will be for 10 days from Nov 5 to Nov 14.
The price-controlled items are live chicken, standard-grade chicken, super-grade chicken, grade A eggs, grade B eggs, grade C eggs, local mutton (with bones), imported sheep (with bones), imported boneless sheep, tomato, red chillies, whole coconuts, grated coconuts, shallots from India, imported onions, potatoes from China and Australian lentils.
However, mutton (with bones) and imported boneless sheep will not be price-controlled in Sabah and Sarawak while whole coconuts will only be price-controlled at wholesale level. Grated coconuts will be price-controlled at grocery shop level.
"There are new items such as the red chillies and grated coconuts added into the list this year based on last year's feedback," he said.
He added that the ceiling price of imported items might be higher than last year due to the weakening ringgit.
He said consumers should inform the ministry if they came across rogue traders who charged more than the ceiling prices.