Ministry of Finance is working on mechanisms to ensure aid reaches targeted groups, says Nanta

PUTRAJAYA: Various mechanisms are being worked out to ensure the aid reaches its target groups, as consumers are expected to pay more for chicken when the price cap system ends on June 30.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the finance ministry is reviewing the initiatives and expects a multi-pronged approach to awarding the grant.

“We are trying to move away from block grants. It’s not the best way to help people, and the economy can’t support that.

“We are considering the best way to do this, to provide targeted assistance to groups that need help,” he said after presenting letters of appointment to members of the Consumer Advisory Council here on Thursday ( June 16).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had announced that from July 1, grants would be given directly to people in need of assistance.

The aid mechanism should be in place before the end of the chicken price cap at the end of the month, after which prices are determined by supply and demand.

The government has capped the standard chicken price at RM8.90 per kg since February 5 to ensure that chicken prices remain affordable for consumers after the price increase.

Explaining this, Nanta said it was not possible to enforce the price cap policy for too long as it would affect the industry.

“When the industry is affected, it will no longer be able to produce chicken. If they can’t produce enough, we may have to depend on importing and that shouldn’t be the case,” he said.

Nonetheless, Nanta said industry players and producers cannot put a price on chicken indiscriminately.

“They must not take advantage of too high a price increase. It will have to be at a reasonable margin.

“There should be no elements of profit or action will be taken,” he warned.

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