PETALING JAYA: A monitoring mechanism must be in place to ensure that cost savings are passed on to customers once licensing fees for hawkers and petty traders are waived, said MCA vice-president Datuk Chua Tee Yong.
Chua agreed with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s suggestion that local councils abolish the trade licence fee for hawkers and petty traders to create more micro-entrepreneurs and to supplement their income, but said monitoring was necessary to ensure that consumers benefited from it.
“It is common now that due to the nature of work, most people tend to eat out. As such, one of the inflationary pressures or expenditures that would hit the people’s pockets directly is the price increase of food and drinks by hawkers and at food courts.
“More so, there is a disconnection for consumers as the consumer price index (CPI) that is a barometer for inflation does not take into account effectively the price increases of hawker food and drinks,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Chua suggested the Government look into regulating the rental of food centres or providing them with tax incentives for both commercial or government buildings.
This will ensure hawkers and petty traders have a lower cost of business and, in return, be able to charge lower prices for goods.
“The Government should monitor the rental of the food centres to ensure the rental is maintained at a reasonable rate.
“This will assist the rakyat especially those in the middle and lower income on a long-term basis as food is consumed daily,” he added.
Traders to pay for steep prices