Price of chicken has continued to stabilise, says Deputy Minister

KUALA LUMPUR: The price of chicken has continued to stabilise following a reduction of 0.9% in its inflation rate last month, says Akmal Nasrullah Nasir.

Answering on behalf of the Economy Ministry, the Deputy Local Government Development Minister said that internal figures showed that the inflation rate for chicken stood at 5.7% in August

"However, if we compare it to the month of September, it has decreased by 0.9%. We can see that prices are becoming more stable, and we are aware that this is one of the main concerns of the people," said Akmal.

"But the government has taken a more consistent approach to ensure price stability," he added in reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PN-Rantau Panjang) during Question Time on Wednesday (Oct 25).

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Siti Zailah had asked the Economy Ministry to explain the efforts taken to address the impact of the ringgit's appreciation towards the prices of goods, including basic essentials such as chicken.

On the currency issue, he said that such matters are under the purview of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) under Bank Negara in determining the OPR (Overnight Policy Rate).

"However, the government is aware that there will still be an impact in terms of differences when we import certain items," said Akmal Nasrullah.

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He added that the inflation rate has slowed to 1.9% in September this year, the lowest recorded in the last 30 months.

"The stabilisation (of rate) is supported by a continuous decrease in a certain index for some components such as food and non-alcoholic beverages, transportation as well as restaurants and hotels," he said.

However, there are some components that recorded increases such as clothing and footwear, as well as alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

"In general, the moderation of inflation does not imply a decrease in price levels but refers to an increase in prices at a slower rate," he explained.

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Asked about the measures to control the increase of prices of goods once the government implements subsidy rationalisation next year, he said that based on the government's economic survey report, inflation is expected to be around 2.1% to 3.6%.

"If we look at it, the rationalisation of subsidy is important to ensure that it will benefit only those who are deserving and to measure the fiscal position," he said.

He also noted that the government is taking various measures to increase the supply of food as well as protecting food security.

"If we look at the government's efforts and initiatives in implementing the Inisiatif Usahawan Tani (Intan), which serves as a two-pronged approach, it is to ensure that the target groups have sufficient income, while at the same time, we need to ensure that food supply is more assured in the coming years," he said.

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