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Cost of Living Action Council draws up action plan

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (right) at a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Department, Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Also seen is Domestic Trade and Consumerism Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail. PHOTO: BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA: The National Cost of Living Action Council, which had its first meeting yesterday, will draw up an action plan to be presented to the Executive Level Committee Meeting within two months after yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the meeting took note of the income pattern and household expenditure of Malaysians tabled by the Malaysian Statistics Department.

“More than 60 percent of the sources of household income came from salaried income and household expenditure of the B40 and M40 groups whose liabilities are more centred on expenditure and beverages,” she told reporters after chairing the council meeting at the Prime Minister’s Department yesterday.

Wan Azizah added for the period 2016, more than 50 percent of the expenditure were spent on three major groups namely food and beverages, housing and utility, as well as transportation.

She explained the average household expenditure in the urban areas comprised 90.7 percent of the average income (RM7,671) while average household expenditure in the rural areas made up 94.2 percent of the income (RM4,359).

 According to her, at the meeting yesterday, the Transport Ministry proposed the unlimited travel journey monthly pass for Rapid Rail and Rapid Bus Bersepadu and discounts for KTM Komuter services for public transport users in the Klang Valley.

“The proposal was based on the model in developed nations such as Japan, France, United Kingdom and Singapore where public transport was subsidised by the government.

“However at this stage, this proposal was subject to the agreement of the Cabinet Ministers because public transport subsidy through monthly passes involved a high cost of RM300 million annually,a she said.

 Wan Azizah, said the meeting also proposed to study the initiative to reduce the use of sugar in processed food.

“This initiative is not only good in terms of consumers’ health but was also expected to be able to reduce the import of raw sugar in the long run. However, cooperation from the industry is important for the success of this initiative,” she added.

The Deputy Prime Minister further added the meeting also encouraged the expansion of the implementation of the ‘Malaysia Zero Waste’ concept to the other ministries which was currently implemented by the Domestic Trade and Consumerism Ministry via the Food Bank Program as a people-concerned initiative.

The Food Bank Program involved the participation of 12 supermarkets through strategic cooperation with the non-governmental organisations to assist the less-affordable groups in getting food supplies.  –Bernama

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