Sarawak to introduce electricity tariff discount for food producers, retailers to lower prices

26/05/2022 07:21 PM

KUCHING, May 26 (Bernama) -- The Sarawak Government will introduce a discount on electricity tariff for food producers and retailers in the state in order to reduce their business costs and eventually mitigate the market prices of foodstuff.

Without mentioning specifically the discount rate, Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg today said coffee shop operators, restaurateurs and other food and beverages industry players would be among those that could expect to benefit from this initiative. 

“(The) Sarawak Government will intervene within our powers and means to cushion the impact of rising cost of living especially on food prices on to the rakyat (people),” he said when winding-up debate on the motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak’ opening address in the State Legislative Assembly.

As another measure, the Premier said the State Cabinet would negotiate with the manufacturer of cylinders used for storing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to lower the cylinder price, which would eventually lead to lowering the retail price of LPG.

“We are able to control distribution of gas, including LPG, under the Distribution of Gas Ordinance. LPG is a controlled item and the price is fixed for the whole of Malaysia under the Control of Supplies Act 1961 (with) its household price being subsidised up to 50 per cent by the Federal Government,” he said.

Abang Johari said the Sarawak Government took note of the rising prices of food which affected the cost of living and all these were due to the current geopolitical tensions that lead to imported inflation, while the ringgit performance against the US dollar had declined 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2022. 

“Economies around the world have experienced immense stress for the past two years. the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise and affected the healthcare system, livelihood of the people and brought many economies into recession. We know, Sarawak shared the same experience,” he said.  

Realising the uncertainties, he said the Sarawak Government had laid down the Post COVID-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030) to address reforms of the state’s economy as Sarawak moved towards a high income and developed State by 2030. 

Under the PCDS 2030, he said Sarawak's economy is targeted to grow at an average of between six and eight percent per annum if it could progress out of its dependence on primary commodities as its main revenue source by diversifying its economy into high value downstream industries.

 “I am confident we will be able to take this leap of faith in achieving the target and Sarawak’s aspiration through a new economic model,” he added.