On his second day of official visit to Bintulu, the Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Monday his ministry target to standardise the prices of 100 essential items in Sarawak before the year end.

Sabri said the target came under the ministry’s “One Sarawak, One Price” programme aimed to level the prices of essential items in the state’s rural parts with prices in the urban areas.

Launching the programme at Rumah Jembat, a longhouse located near Sungai Selezu, Pandan, about an hour’s drive from Bintulu, he said the ministry had allocated about RM56.4 million to absorb the cost of transporting the essential goods to the rural areas.

He added that among the essentials listed were the Beras Nasional SST 15 per cent (broken grain) rice, cooking oil, sugar, flour, petrol, diesel, kerosene and liquified petroleum gas (LPG).

Ismail Sabri said the ministry was also in the process of identifying a suitable mechanism to ensure that people staying in the least accessible places in the state such as Bario in the Baram district, Ba’ Kelalan and several remote settlements in Limbang and Lawas districts, would benefit from the programme.