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THE government is committed to controlling the cost of living in the country by providing an extra RM370 million in subsidies for July and August this year, according to Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
He said the additional subsidy follows the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry’s announcement yesterday about chicken and egg prices, making the projected subsidy expenditure for 2022 to RM77.7 billion.
From February to June, he said the government had spent around RM730 million to subsidise chicken and egg prices.
“The government has spent RM1 billion, namely additional chicken and egg subsidies for two months, namely July and August, as well as additional cash worth RM630 million paid to recipients of Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia from June 27.
“The government is constantly increasing assistance and subsidies to the people to help address the cost of living challenges,” he said in a statement today.
Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia has among the lowest chicken prices in the region.
“For example, in Indonesia chicken is sold for RM12.44/kg, Thailand for RM11.65/1.2kg-1.4 kg; Brunei for RM14.65/kg; Singapore for RM24.25/kg; the Philippines for RM16.59/kg; and Vietnam for RM23.09/1.2kg-1.4kg),” he said.
Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia was not exempted from the global inflationary pressures and it meant that rising prices of goods were completely inevitable.
Based on the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s simulations, he said Malaysia’s May inflation rate could have reached 11.4%, but the subsidy policy helped curb inflation to 2.8%.
“The government will continue to provide subsidies and cash assistance to protect the people from the rising cost of living,” he said. – Bernama, June 30, 2022.