Five new items on controlled goods list; panel on e-commerce to be set up

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 5, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: The government has accepted the proposals from the ministry of domestic trade and consumer affairs (KPDNHEP) to include standard chicken, grade C chicken’s egg, imported round cabbage, Indian mackerel and coconut as controlled goods, and is now looking at ways to implement them.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, after chairing the National Cost of Living Action Council (NACCOL) meeting in Parliament, said the council will collaborate with the relevant ministries to give them effect.

Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail clarified that the ministry had yet to decide on whether to list these items as controlled goods only during festive seasons, or throughout the year.

“The ministry presented two approaches to the NACCOL. One is during the festive seasons, when we already control goods, to add these five items, and to lengthen the control period. The second approach is to list them as controlled goods throughout the year. We will study which is best for the country,” he said.

Saifuddin does not expect the addition of the five items to the controlled goods list to distort trading activities in the economy.

“Take vegetables. How many types of vegetable do we have in the market? Plenty. And we only listed one as a controlled good, so we don’t think it will have any impact on trading. We have implemented controlled goods in the past. So far, no issues,” he added.

Dr Wan Azizah said the meeting also discussed e-commerce, and noted that trading through e-commerce channels could reduce cost and the involvement of middlemen for consumer goods.

“Hence, the meeting decided to establish a National Action Committee on e-Commerce. The meeting has instructed KPDNHEP to lead this effort with the objective of empowering e-commerce systems and cashless payments in Malaysia.

“KPDNHEP will be the ministry that enforces the laws and receives complaints from online business players,” she said.