Nanta (standing fifth left) with state KPDNHEP director Datuk Stanley Tan (Nanta's right) with members of the press.

KUCHING: The implementation of the price standardisation programme worth RM83 million in Sarawak has helped the rural people to enjoy essential items at prices similar to urban areas.

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said without such initiative from the government, the rural people would have to buy products or daily necessities at expensive prices due to transportation and logistics costs.

“For example, LPG gas weighing 14kg is now valued at RM26.60 per barrel in the city.

“If in rural areas like Ba’Kelalan, the price of the LPG gas can reach RM100 per barrel because the traders take into account transportation costs.

“Meanwhile in places like Ulu Kapit, Ulu Baleh and Ulu Sungai Katibas, one barrel of LPG gas can reach RM60,” he told reporters after attending a hi-tea (afternoon tea) event with the media at Waterfront Hotel here on Saturday.

The Kapit MP further mentioned with the standardisation of the price of the goods that has been implemented since 2009 until now, the ministry found that the programme has received welcoming response.

“The programme has benefited the rural population so we will continue this programme in the future,” he added.

A total of RM150 million was allocated for the nationwide implementation of the Price Standardisation Programme this year by the KPDNHEP. Of the amount, RM83 million was channelled for its implementation in Sarawak.

In another development, Nanta announced a total allocation worth RM25,000 to the media fraternity. They are Kuching Division Journalists Association (KDJA) with RM10,000; the Federation of Sarawak Journalists Association (FSJA) with RM10,000; and Pertubuhan Wartawan Bebas Kuching with RM5,000.