SUNGAI BULOH: Some 40,000 fishermen nationwide have benefitted from the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) living allowance since January, says Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub.
He said the ministry was now further vetting and determining those who were genuinely qualified for the living allowance.
“We have almost completed it and we have given the allowance to some 40,000 fishermen so far,” he told reporters yesterday at the launch of direct sales from the landing centre to selected sales centres.
Salahuddin said the government took measures to deal with the presence of middlemen between fishermen and consumers by setting up the Centre for Economic Growth (CEG), where consumers could make direct purchases, especially those in the rural areas.
“We find that the price of fish, for instance, has been reduced by 30%.
“At certain outlets, the price of fish and other basic necessities such as eggs, oil and other essential items stay affordable,” he said.
He pointed out that medium-sized ikan kembung was sold for between RM9.50 and RM10 at the CEG compared to RM16 at other places.Salahuddin said that so far, there were only five CEG outlets in Selangor, one in Kota Tinggi, Johor and Langkawi.
“We aim to have 50 stores nationwide by this year.”
He also noted that his ministry was working together with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry as well as the Cooperative Commission of Malaysia under the Entrepreneur Ministry to further reduce the cost of living.