KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 -- Several areas in Sabah and Sarawak, Perhentian and Redang Island in Terengganu and Tioman Island in Pahang are among 137 locations identified for the essential goods and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution and community drumming programme this year.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the increase in allocation for the programme to RM200 million this year from RM150 million in 2020 has enabled the ministry to extend it to new areas.
He said the appointment of transport companies for the distribution this year would be made according to the standard operating procedure (SOP) approved by the Finance Ministry.
“The SOP outlines the procurement procedure which uses the open tender approach, whereby the advertisement will be issued to invite eligible and interested companies to apply as transporters. The appointment is expected to be completed in April 2021,” he said in a statement today.
To avoid supply disruption pending appointments of the new transporters, the ministry has agreed to extend the contract of existing companies until April 30 and issued directives to 151 companies to commence their service on Jan 12.
Nanta said the ministry assured that the supply of essential goods to residents would continue following the contract extension of the existing companies.
“We hope the programme can ease the burden of residents in the interior areas, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Elaborating, Nanta said the programme, implemented since 2009, had helped rural communities to enjoy seven basic necessities, namely, rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil, LPG, RON95 petrol and diesel at controlled prices.
He said the distribution of these items would be carried out by transporters who buy the goods from suppliers in the city, before sending and selling them to the point of sales (POS) in the distribution areas.
The POS will then sell the basic necessities to local residents at controlled prices.
Nanta said previously, the rural and interior communities had to pay higher prices due to the transportation costs as well as the distance and geographical factors.
Malaysian National News Agency
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