PUTRAJAYA: The relevant ministries and agencies will have two weeks to analyse and discuss targeted subsidies for the people, says Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar said the priority was to ease the burden of the people, especially those in the lower-income bracket, in view of the rise in the price of goods and cost of living.
“I will give two weeks (to the relevant ministries and agencies) to evaluate all the implications (of targeted subsidies) and discuss with the private sector as well as investors so that all involved will understand that the purpose of subsidies is to ease the burden of the poor,” he said.
He was speaking at a press conference after chairing a meeting by the National Action Council on Cost of Living with government departments and agencies.
Chief Secretary to the Government Zuki Ali, Bank Negara Malaysia governor Nor Shamsiah Yunus, officials from the statistics department, domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry, agriculture and food industries ministry, as well as energy and natural resources ministry were among those present at the meeting.
Anwar said once the Cabinet was formed, the relevant ministers would then discuss their findings with their officers and the agencies under their purview before presenting the results in a Cabinet meeting.
He added that he had nothing against subsidies but they had to be implemented effectively to assist those who are most in need of them.
“The rich or industries should not benefit (from the subsidies), but we will give them other concessions such as benefits and improved incentives for companies so that (the move) will not be a burden to them after having been used to the subsidies,” he said.
Anwar also said he wants the electricity subsidy to be re-examined, as the benefits received by the poor and the rich are almost the same.
“In my view, it is just unreasonable,” he said while assuring eligible recipients that the electricity subsidy will continue.
However, he added, those who are affluent and big industries should not receive the subsidy, as this would be a huge financial burden to the government.
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