Date of publication: Jan 25, 2014
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 018
Byline / Author: By V. Thomas
THE prices of goods are increasing as inflation sets in with subsidy removal. The low-income earners are the hardest hit. The 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) is a welcome relief.
However, more can be done to assist this group on a monthly basis.
The government should:
GET manufacturers of consumer goods to display price tags on their products. Every product must have a panel with the price, weight, content and expiry date displayed for easier viewing;
PROVIDE a subsidy card for those who qualify to enable them to receive goods (about RM100 to RM500 monthly), depending on their needs.
Cardholders can go to supermarkets participating in the scheme or Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) for the items. There should not be any abuse as cardholders have to produce the MyKad together with the subsidy card;
ENSURE restaurants and food stalls have a menu card detailing the food and drinks available with the prices. A receipt is a must before payment is made, as it would be evidence if one is overcharged.
Price tags must be made compulsory for traders at wet markets, farmers' markets, night markets and supermarkets. All service tax and charges in food outlets must be suspended pending the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) next year; and,
CONSIDER the negative effects of salary hikes and bonuses of 1.4 million civil servants on the private sector wage earners.
The private sector employees would feel the pinch and would be shortchanged by a rise in prices and inflation.
On top of that, consumer bodies need to be imbued with a greater sense of purpose with farsighted and competent leaders able to represent the people boldly.
Sungai Buloh, Selangor