DPM announces formation of special committee to tackle living cost

Muhyiddin Yassin

(Bernama) – Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday announced the formation of a Special Committee To Tackle The Cost of Living, chaired by him, to handle issues on the rising cost of living and goods in an integrated manner.

He said the setting up of the committee was an extension of the National Key Result Area (NKRA) on Tackling The Cost of Living, whose scope and functions had been widened, which was decided at the Cabinet Meeting on Jan 8.

He said that among the roles of the committee was to coordinate the policies and programmes of the various ministries and agencies involved in easing the burden of the people.

He said it would also collaborate with the Fiscal Policy Committee chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, particularly in scrutinising the government’s taxation policy and subsidy rationalisation.

“The outcome of the study would be announced to the public through the various media to facilitate the people in making comparisons and to understand the actual reality on the price increase,” he said at a media conference at the meeting room of his office, here yesterday.

Muhyiddin said this included the study on rising prices which were not linked to fiscal consolidation measures, but was due to the issue on the market structure, including the supply issue and the marketing system.

He said the committee would also implement sectoral studies on the actual effects of the rising cost of inputs on the increase in prices of essential goods and subsequently to make a logical and appropriate projection of the increased prices.

He said the committee would also engage the consumers associations and representatives of the business sector as well as non-governmental organisations that were related to the supply of goods and services as well as other factors that determined the prices of goods.

Muhyiddin said the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) would act as the Secretariat and steering committee, while the other ministries and relevant agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Ministry of Transport and so on would be appointed as members.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Prime Minister said the government also decided to create a special laboratory for two weeks beginning yesterday to study measures to ease the burden of the people. It also had the role of carrying out a holistic study, fiscal consolidation needed to ensure that the people were not burdened, as well as the type of aid that could be channelled to the people.

“Besides representatives of the relevant ministries and agencies, other members of the laboratory are representatives of the consumers associations, the industry, academicians, students and so on who would provide inputs and their opinions in tackling the cost of living,” he said.

Muhyiddin also said the enforcement of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act would be enhanced to take more effective action on traders who took the opportunity to raise prices indiscriminately.

In addition, he said other measures that were being planned were efforts to promote or relaunch the Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia concept, Sarapan 1Malaysia menu, besides increasing the frequency of getting on the ground for every ministry.

“At the moment, the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism is tabling a report to the cabinet on all aspects of the prices of goods,” he said.