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Wednesday January 22, 2014 MYT 7:31:00 AM
Wednesday January 22, 2014 MYT 12:50:07 PM
by zuhrin azam ahmad
PUTRAJAYA: The Government will step in and introduce certain measures if initiatives to provide the people with reasonably priced goods failed to function well, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
The Prime Minister said the Government would intervene to ensure the people would not be burdened with goods sold at unreasonable prices.
For instance, he said he has asked the Agriculture and Agrobased Industry Ministry to see if Fama and National Fishermen’s Association (Nekmat) could ensure fish and vegetables sold at pasar tani were lower than at other places.
“This is when Fama and Nekmat can play their roles by offering consumers food items that are reasonably priced.
“This Friday, I will drop by at the Putrajaya pasar tani to check on the prices and if the price mechanism fail to function well, the government will intervene,” he said at the Finance Ministry’s monthly assembly here yesterday.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan and Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah were also present at the assembly.
Najib, who is Finance Minister, however, did not elaborate on the type of intervention.
Over the past few months, the Government introduced various initiatives to reduce the financial burden of the people including the save on grocery expenses campaign which gave discounts of between five and 20% on 22 selected products sold at 517 pasar tani nationwide.
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the setting up of a committee to look into the issue of higher cost of living and prices of food items.
Najib also said the price of certain items were beyond the Government’s control.
“The price of fish rises during the monsoon season because fishermen cannot go out to sea while floods and changes in weather can result i n higher prices for vegetables.
“We have to exercise rationality and it is impossible for the Government to contr ol prices as they are determined by demand and supply,” he said.
Najib said the rationalisation of subsidy was not intended to burden the people.
“This (the rationalisation) is for long-term benefits to further boost and strengthen our economy.
“With the rationalisation, our assistance will be more focused and the BR1M (Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia) amount can be increased,” he said.
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