Savings from discontinuation of chicken subsidies should fund key initiatives, says academician

02 Nov 2023 03:04pm
Photo for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
Photo for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX

LABUAN - A prominent academician has suggested the substantial savings from the discontinuation of the RM3.8 billion in chicken subsidies should be strategically channelled into key initiatives for the people.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) senior lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Romzi Ationg said this significant windfall could be allocated to creating or enhancing cash assistance programmes, building schools and hospitals, upgrading dilapidated clinics, and supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

"These cash assistance programmes, for example, can be a lifeline for individuals and families struggling to make ends meet,” he told Bernama today.

Romzi said these substantial savings could also be judiciously directed toward the construction of schools and hospitals, especially in rural areas.

"This strategic investment in educational and healthcare infrastructure holds the key to the nation’s overall development...and will greatly enhance access to quality education and healthcare services for the entire populace,” he said.

Romzi also stressed the need to strategically utilise the terminated subsidy funds to support SMEs, as these enterprises are integral to economic growth and job creation.

"Our proposal includes extending financial assistance, training, and resources to help SMEs thrive, which, in turn, can stimulate economic development,” he said.

He explained that by diversifying the utilisation of the savings derived from the termination of chicken subsidies, the government could address multiple facets of public welfare and make a tangible difference in the lives of its citizens.

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Romzi also underscored the imperative to use the substantial savings effectively for the benefit of the public, as the decision to terminate long-standing chicken subsidies is anticipated to yield significant savings, and it is crucial that these savings are put to good use for the welfare of the nation.

Earlier this week, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu disclosed that the government had borne RM3.8 billion for chicken and egg subsidies since February 2022 and that the rationale for ending the bulk subsidies for chicken was to reduce leakages of subsidies, which were also availed by foreigners and high-income groups. - BERNAMA

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