Rabu, Mac 16, 2005

Fomca calls for a ‘price commission’

The Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca) today proposed that a ‘price commission’ be established to study any request of price hikes for goods and services.

Its president N Marimuthu said such commissions have been established in many developed countries and it also receives objections from those dissatisfied with any increase in pricing.

“We need a commission such as this to ensure that price hikes are justified and acceptable to all,” he was quoted as saying in a Bernama report.

For example, he said if any organisation wants to raise the price of its goods or services, it can make an appeal to the commission whereas those who object can also register their case with the body.

Currently, he noted that if an organisation wanted to raise the price of its goods or services, it submits a memorandum to the minister in-charge and the decision lies in the hands of the minister and not one reached collectively.

“In view of this, Fomca will submit a working paper on the establishment of the commission to Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shafie Apdal at the end of this month,” he said.

Fare hike

On the decision by public transport operators to increase their fares, Marimuthu said it was not justified.

The operators wanted to hike up their fares by 80 percent in response to the government increasing the price of diesel by five sen.

The Fomca president said the operators should have provided precise details to substantiate their claim that the increase in diesel price would result in losses for them at the current fare rates.

Yesterday, Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the request to hike the fares up to 80 percent had been turned down.

He said the cabinet has suggested that the hike be around 10 to 20 percent.

While confirming that increase in fares is imminent, the minister however promised that the new rate would not burden the public.

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