by HIDAYATH HISHAM
ALTHOUGH Malaysia’s inflation rate has eased to 2.0%, the lowest in nearly 2 years, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (picture) affirmed the Unity Government’s commitment to continuing efforts to reduce the cost of living through initiatives like Payung Rahmah and Madani Agro Sales.
He stated this at the recent National Livelihood Action Council (NACCOL) meeting, which discussed measures to address inflation.
“These initiatives would continue benefitting the people through cooperation with state governments, as part of the Government’s efforts to ease inflationary pressures,” he said in a statement after the meeting.
The Payung Rahmah initiative provides targeted subsidies and cash aid to vulnerable groups to purchase essential goods, aimed at alleviating the burden of high living costs.
Meanwhile, the Madani Agro Sales facilitates the discounted sale of agriculture products directly from farmers and fishermen to consumers, helping regulate prices while supplementing producers’ income.
The meeting also discussed several other cost of living issues white three consideration papers and two information papers were presented.
One issue highlighted was the ongoing standard chicken and egg price control in place since February 2022 of which Anwar stated an important measure to ensure adequate supply to Malaysians.
“It is important that the direction of this chicken and egg price control can be finalized to ensure the continuity of the supply chain,” he said.
The meeting also revealed the Government aims to improve access to competitively priced medicines through more transparent pharmacy price display mechanisms to benefit consumers.
Proposals would be also presented to cabinet in addressing potential sugar supply disruption due to rising global prices.
Other issues brought in the meeting are the planning and implementation of the Government’s Main Database (PADU) was also noted as well as continued fee waivers for small businesses using DuitNow QR payments.
“Easing people’s burden must remain a key priority so that they receive direct benefits for every initiative and strategy implemented,” Anwar said.