Additional subsidy allocation of RM370mil shows govt’s commitment to control cost of living, says Tengku Zafrul

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is committed to controlling the cost of living in the country when it provides an additional subsidy allocation of RM370mil for July and August this year.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the additional subsidy allocation was following the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry’s announcement yesterday on chicken and eggs subsidies, making the projected subsidy expenditure for 2022 to RM77.7bil.

For a period of five months, from February to June, he said the government had provided an allocation of around RM730mil to subsidise chicken and egg prices.

“With the latest announcement, the government has provided RM1bil to help the people, namely additional chicken and egg subsidies for two months, namely July and August, as well as additional cash assistance worth RM630mil paid to recipients of Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia from June 27.

“The government is constantly increasing assistance and subsidies to the people to help address the cost of living challenges,” he said in a statement here Thursday (June 30).

Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia has among the lowest chicken prices in the region.

“For example, in Indonesia, chicken is sold for RM12.44 per kg; Thailand (RM11.65 – 1.2 kg -1.4 kg); Brunei (RM14.65); Singapore (RM24.25); the Philippines (RM16.59); and Vietnam (RM23.09 – 1.2 kg -1.4 kg),” he said.

Tengku Zafrul also said as an open economy, Malaysia was not exempted from the global inflationary pressures and it meant that rising prices of goods were completely inevitable.

Based on the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s simulations, he said the country’s May inflation rate could have reached 11.4%, but the subsidy policy helped curb inflation to 2.8%.

“The government will continue to provide subsidies and cash assistance to protect the people from the rising cost of living burden,” he said.

He said the inflationary pressures in 2022 was a global phenomenon with Brent crude oil prices remaining above US$100 a barrel since the end of March, coupled with global supply chain disruptions which affected the supply of fertilisers and livestock feed that led to a sharp increase in food prices. – Bernama