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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sugarless drinks should cost 10 sen or 10% less, says minister


KUALA LUMPUR: Food operators should charge customers 10% or 10 sen less for ordering beverages without sugar, said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Currently, such consumers pay the same price as beverages with sugar.
“Reducing the price for drinks with less sugar will encourage consumers to ask for less sugar and this is not only good for health but also reduce their spending,” he said after launching the Less Sugar, Less Spendingcampaign yesterday.
Ismail hoped consumers would also reduce sugar consumption at home and further add to their savings.
On Monday, the ministry announced that the price of coarse and fine sugar would be increased by 20 sen to RM2.30 per kilo.
He said he has not received reports informing him of any food operators increasing prices due to the increase.
Ismail said 70% of sugar were imported based on long-term contracts with producers and the contracts would expire at the end of this year.
The other 30% sugar were purchased based on current market price.
Without subsidy, sugar cost RM2.50 per kilo on average, he added.
He said although the Government had reduced subsidy on sugar, it would still pay RM283.4mil a year, adding that the Government would review the price of sugar every six months.
The retail price of sugar in Malaysia was still low compared with Indonesia (RM3.80), Singapore (RM3.61), Thailand (RM2.31) and the Philippines (RM4.50), said Ismail.
Asked when the Government would reduce the subsidy for RON95 fuel, he said no deadline was set. - theStarOnline

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