PM Najib: Government will intervene if price mechanism fails

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak assured that the Federal Government would intervene if price mechanism fails, to ensure that goods and services especially pertaining to grocery and food items remain at the affordability of Malaysians.

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21 January 2014| last updated at 10:29AM

PM: Vital to reconstruct nation’s economy

By AZURA ABAS and KOI KYE LEE | news@nst.com.my
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PUTRAJAYA: Restructuring of the nation’s economy is vital as it would ensure a continuous and upward trend of growth.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said if a reform of the economy was not made, the economic growth would remain stagnant.

For Malaysia to achieve its objective in becoming a developed nation by 2020 and a high income nation, Najib said the restructuring of economy was a must.

“If we do not do a restructure, the country’s economy will grow slower and we will not be able to achieve our objective which is to be a country with an advanced economy,” he added.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, attended the ministry’s first monthly assembly, earlier today.

He said that to achieve advanced economy, the country’s resources have to be managed efficiently and used productively.

Najib added the government would intervene if the current price mechanism has failed to function properly.

“The intervention will be done so that the people will not be burdened by the price hikes,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivers his speech at the Ministry of Finance’s first monthly assembly in Putrajaya. Pix by Mohd Fadli Hamzah

Read more: PM: Vital to reconstruct nation’s economy – Latest – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/latest/pm-vital-to-reconstruct-nation-s-economy-1.467258#ixzz2r0ZlqtDO

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The process of ‘intervention’ has already started. However, it is being addressed at source instead at end user.

Presently efforts are being made to address the specific issue that many Malaysians are complaining, the steep rise in grocery and food items of late. On Saturday, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Dato’ Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob announced that the price of raw paddy supplied by farmers to millers would be standardised to RM1,200 per metric ton.

Prior to this ruling, the price of raw paddy acquired by millers varied between states. As such, some millers started to buy at lower prices from farmers in the states and affected the supply from where the millers are based. The practice of cartel has been seen as ‘economically oppressing’ the famers.

When met in Ministry of Agriculture yesterday, Ismail questioned what are the Opposition led State Governments doing about the rising price of goods and services.

He noted that many of the city councils and local authorities in these states have been hiking up licenses, permits, quit rents and even rental of premises owned by the local authorities. As such, the cost is passed to the consumers.

Therefore in most of the urban areas, price of prepared food have been rising and affecting the fixed income earners, especially in the lower bracket and those elastically affected due to urban poverty.

He asked Opposition Leaders to make the rising price of goods and services lesser of a political issue and come together with the Federal Government to ensure that the well being of the rakyat comes first.

Published in: on January 21, 2014 at 13:00  Comments (6)