Chicken and egg issue will be tackled, pledges PM

PUTRAJAYA: While the prices of chicken and eggs will be floated again, any issues involving the two essential goods in the future will be tackled, the Prime Minister has assured the people.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the rationale behind the lifting of the ceiling price was because these items had seen lower prices in the past weeks.

“The government had to fork out RM3.6bil in subsidies while ceiling prices for chicken and eggs were in place,” he pointed out.

Speaking at the Prime Minister’s Department’s monthly assembly yesterday, Anwar said this decision had raised concerns among the public.

He said that the government continued to subsidise these foods even when the prices had come down, adding that all the while, price controls were imposed only during festive occasions.

“Now, we will float the prices. If at all there are issues, we will tackle them,” he said.

In Budget 2024, Anwar announced that the temporary price controls will be lifted so that the market can function freely to ensure a sufficient supply of chicken and eggs in the market.

Details of these measures are set to be announced by the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry in two weeks.

Economists say there would be short-term volatility in chicken and egg prices following the lifting of the ceiling prices for the two essential items.

Their prices are expected to fluctuate over the next few months depending on supply, with consumers likely to pay more initially before prices stabilise.

The Prime Minister said the government will not stop its subsidy policies as it will affect the people, especially those in the lower and middle-income groups.

He also said he was aware that points on subsidies in his Budget for 2024 have received various interpretations.

“Some are saying that the government is burdening the people. But it must be pointed out that the decision... on the subsidy on electricity will only affect 10% of the consumers who are in the T10 income category,” he said.

By removing the subsidy for wealthy electricity users, the government would save RM4.6bil, which could be channelled into better use, Anwar added.

In Budget 2024, electricity bill rebates of up to RM40 per month for the hardcore poor will continue, with an allocation of RM55mil.

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