DEPS sets maximum prices for essential food items during Ramadhan

The Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (DEPS) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) will set maximum prices on five categories of daily food necessities from 1st of Ramadhan to 30th of Syawal 1442 Hijrah. The initiative will run for eight weeks instead of five weeks as in previous years.

The initiative is aimed at maintaining the affordability of selected high-consumption essential food products, especially ones that are used in food preparation during Ramadhan dan Syawal. It will run for three weeks longer than usual to reduce the risk of price volatility from supply issues that could arise due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The products that will be set a temporary maximum price are butter, margarine, ghee, condensed, evaporated and cream milk, and flour. These products are in addition to cooking oil and powdered infant milk, which are set a maximum price all year round as well as whole chicken and chicken eggs, which have been set a maximum price beginning on April 1 until the end of Syawal. The full list of maximum prices is available on the PenggunaBijak mobile app and the DPES website.

The Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), JPES clarifies that the seasonal maximum price directive is to prevent market prices of the selected essential food items from rising above a certain level. This directive does not hinder businesses from individually setting prices competitively to win consumers.

Businesses are also advised to practise good judgement in pricing other products during this time. Those suspected to be pricing essential products unreasonably will be required to justify their prices to the DCCA.

Consumers are encouraged to exercise the right to compare prices across stores and to be aware of choices and substitutes available, to make value-for-money purchase decisions. The DCCA reminds consumers to be considerate of others by avoiding panic buying and purchasing in reasonable quantities.

Any queries related to the seasonal maximum prices directive can be directed to the DCCA through the consumer hotline at Darussalam line 123 or the DCCA’s mobile application PenggunaBijak.