All stallholders are required to display their prices as part of their licence conditions, the Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Amy Khor Lean Suan, said in the 13th Parliament session on 10 January.
Where it is not feasible to indicate fixed prices, stallholders can also indicate a price range, Dr Amy Khor added.
Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Mr Leon Perera had asked the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources in the session:
- Whether it is compulsory for wet market stallholders to display their prices prominently,
- if so, how does the Ministry enforce this, and,
- how many stallholders have been found to be in breach of such regulations over the past five years.
The Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources explained for the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, in 2016, the National Environment Agency (NEA) issued verbal advisories to more than 110 market stallholders to display their prices and most of the stallholders had cooperated.
She said it is a good practice to be transparent about the prices so that consumers will have greater peace of mind when patronising them and can make more informed choices.
However Dr Amy Khor said, “We recognise that many wet market stalls may face difficulty in displaying their prices as the prices of market produce may fluctuate on a daily basis and are currently looking into revising this requirement.”
Mr Perera then asked whether the Ministry would consider a campaign to put up posters in some of these wet markets to educate consumers that stallholders are expected to display these prices. He added, “And perhaps to have a hotline number they (the consumer) can call, if there are stallholders who are consistently not displaying prices?”
Again the Senior Minister of State did not answer directly, as it was with the second and third query of Mr Perera.
She said, “Indeed, at these wet markets and hawker centres, we do have place managers there to monitor. Anyone is free to contact us to give us feedback on the display of food prices and any other issue with regards to hawker centres.”
“As I had said, for some stalls, in particular, where they are selling market produce and if the prices fluctuate on a daily basis, it is quite difficult. We have engaged them and advised them that they could display a price range instead, which would also comply with the requirements.”