The Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (JPES), Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) will implement a temporary price ceiling for buffalo and cattle meat at BND13 per kilogramme. This directive will last for five weeks, today until June 11.
The ceiling price is applied to fresh/frozen buffalo and cattle meat, not including meat from premium breeds such as Euro cross and Angus, meat which has been portioned (portion cuts) and premium cuts, such as tenderloin, cube roll and striploin.
The Seasonal Maximum Price (SMP) directive covers eight categories of essential food – buffalo and cattle meat; whole chicken; chicken eggs; butter; margarine; ghee; condensed, evaporated and cream milk; and flour.
The Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) of JPES clarified that the SMP directive on a temporary basis is aimed to prevent market prices of the selected essential food items from rising above the capped level. The directive does not hinder businesses from individually setting prices competitively below the capped price.
Any retailer found not complying with the directive will be issued a warning letter. For subsequent non-compliance, the name of the retailer will be published in the media for public information.
To facilitate price transparency and allow consumers to make informed purchase decisions, businesses are also advised to clearly display prices on the products by labelling specifically, for example the type of beef (buffalo, cattle – Angus, Euro cross or Brahman cross) and for cases other than basic meat is offered, to clearly specify the cuts, for example tenderloin, topside, or rump.
Failure to display prices clearly and accurately is an offence under the Price Control (Display of Prices) Order of the Price Control Act which carries a compound of not more than BND1,000. While for subsequent offences, a maximum fine of BND20,000 and imprisonment of up to five years by the court, can be issued.
Any queries related to the SMP directive can be channelled to the DCCA through the Consumer Hotline under Darussalam line 123 or the DCCA’s mobile application PenggunaBijak.