KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 - The National Action Council on Cost of Living (NACCOL) meeting which was held today heard a presentation by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) on the initial results of the Border Economy Supply of RON95 Petrol and Diesel without subsidy initiative, among other things.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who presided over the meeting said various positive impacts were gained from the pilot project implemented in Perlis, adding that the programme is KPDN's effort to tackle the issue of petrol and diesel leakage, especially in areas near the national border.
“Preliminary reports show that government subsidies can be saved because the sale of petrol and diesel does not involve subsidy allocations. The opportunity to increase national income is also high through the sales tax imposed on foreign vehicles,” he said in a statement last night.
He said KPDN recorded a low number of cases of misappropriation in Perlis throughout the implementation period, adding that the programme has also reduced traffic congestion at petrol stations in the state.
The ministry will release details of the pilot project achievements throughout the two months and study the possibility of implementing the programme in other states, he added.
Besides that, he said the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) would intensify the Marketing Development Programme by targeting to implement the Farm Direct Sales Programme at 2,000 locations this year, compared to 1,000 locations last year.
“This sales programme is expected to benefit all levels of consumers including traders because the prices offered are much lower as the goods are brought directly from the source of supply,” he said.
According to him, FAMA is also organising Ramadan Madani Special Sales at 268 locations across the country at farmer’s markets, permanent farmer’s markets, Rural Transformation Centres (RTC) and Medan Niaga Satok as well as Syawal Madani Special Sales at 113 FAMA marketing outlets starting April 15 to facilitate the people to make preparations for Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Anwar said KPDN also presented the status of the Rahmah initiative involving the Rahmah Sale programme in 16 supermarkets and its network involving 118 parliamentary constituencies and 8,223 locations and the distribution of 71,400 Rahmah Baskets by 10 main contributors to recipients under the extreme poor category.
He said the Menu Rahmah initiative has been implemented at 1,706 food premises and restaurants and the Rahmah Ramadan bazaars have attracted the participation of 913 traders in 41 locations.
To ensure the safety of road users, Anwar said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) together with Proton and Perodua have launched the Rahmah Package for motor vehicle servicing at a cheaper price.
“This is an effort by the MADANI Malaysian government as well as all parties especially players in various industries such as the retail industry, food and beverage, textiles, hospitality, food based manufacturing and automotive to help MADANI Malaysians,” according to him.
Anwar said the meeting also took note of the presentation by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in collaboration with the Cement and Concrete Association of Malaysia to implement another Rahmah initiative which will be announced later.
In addition, he said the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy and KPDN were preparing the details of more targeted subsidy methods which will be submitted to the National Economic Action Council (MTEN) at the next meeting.
Meanwhile, Anwar dismissed the allegation that he is no longer focused to tackle the issue of the cost of living, saying it is ‘merely a wild accusation’.
He said he was being assisted by his two deputies through several committees, including the Implementation Monitoring Committee, NACCOL, chaired by his deputy and the Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi which has met twice.
“Moving forward he will intensify efforts to monitor and implement the Malaysian government's MADANI policies and strategies by holding meetings every month,” he said.
Anwar also said that it was appropriate for all parties to work together with the government to strengthen efforts in helping the people and reduce polemics because the cost of living is a national agenda and demands a 'whole nation approach'.