PUTRAJAYA: A permanent secretariat led by the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry together with the Economy Ministry will be established in the near future to address issues related to people’s cost of living.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub said that the establishment of the secretariat was due to the fact the ministry cannot work in isolation to address issues related to the cost of living.

The secretariat, which will be headed by the secretaries-general of the two ministries and comprise officials from the Statistics Department Malaysia (DOSM) and the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), will present a comprehensive plan to deal with cost of living issues, he said.

“We agreed to establish a permanent secretariat for these two ministries, which will, at any time, be able to hold meetings, engagements, seminars, workshops and the like so that we can move forward more efficiently,” he told reporters after receiving a donation of basic food from Syarikat Tamin Sdn Bhd at his ministry here Thursday (Dec 22).

Prior to that, Salahuddin held a two-hour meeting with Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, which was also attended by DOSM and EPU officials.

Describing the meeting as fruitful, Salahuddin said that several things were discussed, including the implementation of short and long-term programmes related to the cost of living, which the two ministries should address.

Next, he plans to hold engagement sessions with the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry, the Transport Ministry and the Local Government Development Ministry, as well as other ministries that are members of the National Action Council on the Cost of Living (NACCOL).

When asked about the food supply situation in the country, Salahuddin said that the feedback received showed that the food supply thus far was sufficient until the Christmas celebration.

“The Ministry will continue to monitor the stability of goods in the market, and will continue to monitor the price control scheme for the Christmas celebration which was launched recently,” he said.

Regarding the donation of basic food items received on Thursday, he said that the items will be coordinated by the Food Bank Malaysia secretariat, under the Ministry, to be distributed to flood victims.

– Bernama

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