PUTRAJAYA: The government is looking into ways to reduce the regulatory cost and number of processes to conduct business in the country, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister said that investors and businesses are finding it difficult to get permission to invest and help contribute to the growth of the country's economy.
“In the construction industry, for example, there are at least 60 processes that must be undergone, so we are doing an assessment on this to help ease the process of doing business here.
“The Chief Secretary to the Government has now been instructed to reduce the number of processes and agencies to reduce the time to give approval for investments,” he told a press conference after chairing the Economic Action Council (EAC) meeting here Tuesday (June 11).
Dr Mahathir said the council also discussed on ways to help reduce poverty among padi farmers.
He said padi farmers have always been poor and relied heavily on government subsidies.
The Prime Minister said there were a few reasons why farmers remain poor, among them being the need to hold land and their methods of planting.
He added that the government has allocated RM1.8bil in subsidies for about 200,000 padi farmers.
“This is too costly. We want them to produce more per acre.
“To overcome poverty among padi farmers, we can't just force them to plant padi – they can plant other crops that can give good returns, like cash crops,” he said.
Dr Mahathir added that the government also needs to ensure the country's food security is taken care of.
At the same time, consumers should also not be burdened with the cost of living in order to “enrich farmers,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also said that the government was still gathering data on the proposed fuel subsidy.
“No real decision has been made yet,” he said.
The government said the new targeted fuel subsidy mechanism will be ready by July this year. The plan to move from blanket fuel subsidy to targeted subsidies was announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in Budget 2019.