Subsidies for target groups only

PUTRAJAYA: Various mechanisms are being thought out to ensure aid reaches its target groups, as consumers are expected to pay more for chicken when the ceiling price scheme ends, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi (pic).

He said the Finance Ministry is looking into this, adding that a multi-approach method would be adopted in giving out the subsidy.

“We are trying to depart from giving blanket subsidies. This is not the best way to help the people and the economy cannot sustain this.

“Now, we are thinking of the best way to do it, to give targeted aid to groups who need assistance,” he said after presenting appointment letters to members of the Consumer Advisory Council yesterday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had announced that effective July 1, subsidies will be given directly to people in need.

The aid mechanism is expected to be in place before the chicken ceiling price ends at the end of the month, after which prices are determined by supply and demand.

The government has capped the price of standard chicken at RM8.90 per kg since Feb 5 to ensure chicken prices remain affordable to consumers.

Explaining this, Nanta said it was not feasible to have the ceiling price policy enforced for too long as it would affect the industry.

“When the industry is affected, it will not be able to produce chickens. If they can’t produce sufficiently, we may have to depend on imports and this should not be the case,” he added.

Nanta said that nevertheless, industry players and producers could not indiscriminately put a price tag on chicken.

“They must not take advantage of raising the price too much.

“It will have to be at a reasonable margin.

“There should not be elements of profiteering or action will be taken,” he warned.

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