REDUCING COST OF LIVING REMAINS GOVERNMENT FOCUS - SAYS RAFIZI
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (April 11, 2023): The government will continue to implement initiatives to ease the people’s burden, especially in dealing with the cost of living.
Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said the government has implemented the Menu Rahmah initiative under the Payung Rahmah programme which is targeted at helping the poor.
He said the government has also implemented the People’s Income Initiative (IPR) aimed at eradicating poverty and improving the people’s income through agricultural, food business and services operator initiatives.
“When more food items are being sold at lower prices, whether through Menu Rahmah or IPR, it would create competition that would ease prices of ready meals and, in turn, help the government in curbing inflation,” he said recently.
In conjunction with Ramadan, the government has also introduced Bazar Ramadan Rahmah (BRR) under the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry’s (KPDN) Payung Rahmah initiative at 38 locations nationwide.
The BRR implementation came about from traders’ cooperation, following KPDN’s engagement, to offer Menu Rahmah prices to help reduce the people’s cost of living.
Another initiative to ease the people’s burden is the Festive Season Maximum Price Control Scheme in conjunction with the 2023 Chinese New Year celebration in January. It covered eight items, including pomfret, white shrimp, garlic from China, pork belly, and lean and fatty pork.
In addition, the government has allocated RM200 million this year for the Price Standardisation Programme (PPH) which aims to ensure the rural folk, especially those in the hinterlands or islands, enjoy seven essential goods at the same prices as those living in the cities.
These include white rice, coarse sugar, flour, cooking oil, liquefied petroleum gas, RON95 petrol, and diesel.
To date, PPH has benefitted more than 1.2 million residents from 798 rural areas in six states — Sabah, Sarawak, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang.
Meanwhile, Rafizi noted that Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil has introduced the Unity Package prepaid mobile Internet plan priced at RM30.
The package is aimed at providing Internet access for youths, those from the lower income (B40) group, senior citizens and persons with disabilities, as well as veterans of the Malaysian Armed Forces and police.
Phase 1 of the Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah (STR) cash aid worth RM1.67 billion has been channeled in stages to 8.7 million people in the B40 group since Jan 17, 2023.
“Based on the current situation, inflation rate is expected to remain manageable at 2.8 per cent to 3.8 per cent in 2023 amid more stable prospects.
“The government is always committed to ensuring the national economy remains strong, resilient and sustainable to safeguard the people’s well-being,” Rafizi said.
The minister said efforts are focused on ensuring economic restructuring strategies and initiatives take into consideration the needs of the people.
“This is to ensure the goal of becoming a high-income, inclusive and sustainable nation can be achieved, in line with the Malaysia Madani aspirations,” he added.
Reflecting government efforts, Malaysia’s February 2023 headline inflation as represented by the Consumer Price Index remained moderate at 3.7 per cent, same as in January 2023, after peaking at 4.7 per cent in August 2022.
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