Cost-of-living solutions expected by January next year

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry and the Economy Ministry are refining several quick-win solutions to tackle the cost of living issue.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub (pic) and Minister of Economy Rafizi Ramli said in a joint statement on Tuesday (Dec 27) that it will include a cross-ministry cooperation action plan.

“Bot ministries have agreed to create a joint secretariat that will be the platform at the official level to discuss the roles of various agencies in tackling the cost of living issue.

“Several procedures to implement policies are being updated and are expected to be implemented at the end of January next year,” they said.

They added that the government remains committed to help Malaysians tackle the issue, but there is a need to ensure that every step taken would not affect the business and industrial ecosystem that are still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Efforts to control inflation and rising costs of living needed the cooperation of all parties concerned in the value chain, including the government, manufacturers, businesses and consumers as this issue not only relates to low prices, but also fair prices to manufacturers, businesses and consumers, the ministers said.

“The government hopes that such efforts will help cost management and ensure savings to consumers and reduce the costs of living for Malaysians,” they added.

The public is also advised to strengthen their role as smart consumers by focusing on four steps, including planning expenses and adjusting inclinations, especially towards alternative products to items that have increased in price, making price comparisons using the Price Catcher app, and buying in quantities needed and not succumbing to panic buying.

The government has already taken several long-term and short-term measures to tackle the cost of living issue, including maintaining the electric tariff for domestic, commercial and industrial consumers, as well as price controls and subsidies for standard chicken and Grade A, B and C eggs for a certain set period.

Also, the government has decided to import eggs until supply by local producers is restored, while Padiberas Nasional Berhad would channel RM60 million in allocations to farmers, RM10 million for 2022 and RM50 million for 2023.

In addition, the government is refining the implementation of ‘2 Stage Pricing’ for raw palm oil to ensure that bottled cooking oil in domestic markets is sold at a lower price to reduce the pressure on demand and use of subsidised one-kilogramme cooking oil polybags. – Bernama