The Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (DEPS) announced the implementation of a temporary price ceiling for buffalo and cattle meat at $13 per kilogramme, which will last for five weeks, commencing 10 May until 11 June, 2021.
According to a statement, the ceiling price is applied to fresh or frozen buffalo and cattle meat excluding 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 Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) in DEPS clarifies 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 statement read.
“This directive does not hinder businesses from individually setting prices competitively below the capped price,” it added.
With this new development, the Seasonal Maximum Price (SMP) Directive now covers a total of eight categories of essential food including; buffalo and cattle meat, whole chicken, chicken eggs, butter, margarine, ghee, condensed, evaporated and cream milk as well as flour.
“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,” the DEPS continued.
The department then went on to advise businesses to clearly display prices on products by labelling them specifically; from the type of beef to the type of cuts, in order to facilitate price transparency and allow consumers to make informed purchase decisions.
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 $1,000.
While for subsequent offences, a maximum fine of $20,000 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 Talian Darussalam 123 or the DCCA’s mobile application PenggunaBijak. – Wardi Wasil
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN