PM to chair special Naccol meeting to discuss rice supply issues on Feb 23, says Armizan

PAPAR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will chair a special National Action Council on Cost of Living (Naccol) meeting on Friday (Feb 23) especially rice supply issues in the country.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said the ministry and the Naccol secretariat had received confirmation from the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry that the issue of the rice supply in the country will be among the matters to be discussed.

"Since the enforcement of the Control of Padi and Rice Act 1994, the power to regulate padi and rice, including its supply and prices, is under the ministry.

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"Any changes involving government policies and programmes related to padi and rice are under the responsibility of the Agriculture and Food Security Minister in line with Ministerial Functions Act 1969," he told reporters after attending a mass circumcision ceremony here on Sunday (Feb 18).

The programme involved 260 participants and eight mosques in the Kawang state constituency.

Armizan said that any official announcements on rice supply will be made by the Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu or a designated representative after Naccol makes any decision.

These decisions will subsequently be brought to the Cabinet if significant and involve financial implications, he said.

He also said that in cooperation with the Economy Ministry, through the Statistics Department, his ministry will also raise indicators to measure living costs for consideration at the meeting.

"If we don't have time to discuss it at this Friday's meeting, we will bring it to the Naccol meeting in March.

"We have a consumer price index but if there is an indicator of the cost of living, we will be able to make a more comprehensive assessment, which includes the distribution of aid to the people.

"We know the cost of living is different for every district or region. The price of goods, including logistics, is different. Therefore, we need to establish indicators but to establish that involves policy because we need to see what components should be included," he added.

On the increasing burden of the cost of living, Armizan said this is an issue facing all countries worldwide.

"If you look at the just-released World Economic Forum report, in 2024 and the next 10 years, one of the global challenges will be the cost of living.

"So, it is not a Malaysian issue alone," he said. – Bernama

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