KUALA LUMPUR: Amid concerns over the high cost of living, the government remains committed to easing the burden of low-income households through improvement of the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M).
According to the Economic Report 2015/2016 issued by the Finance Ministry, as of August 2015, a total of 4.7 million households and 2.7 million single individuals have benefited from BR1M
The report said that in 2015, the government increased the BR1M payment from RM650 to RM950 for households with a monthly income of RM 3,000 and below, as well as from RM450 to RM750 for middle-income households earning between RM3, 001 and RM4, 000.
“The disbursements were made in three instalments in January, May and September 2015. In addition, the BR1M for single individuals aged 21 and above with a monthly income of below RM 2,000 was increased from RM300 to RM350.
“Meanwhile in 2015, the government replaced the group takaful insurance (i-BR1M) with the Family Bereavement Scheme which entitles the next-of-kin of BR1M recipients to receive RM1,000,” said the report.
The government, added the report, remained committed in ensuring the price uniformity across the country through the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act (PCAP) 2011.
More than 1.5 million inspections have been carried out nationwide until September 2015 through OPS CATUT which begin earlier this year to increase enforcement activities to deter profiteers from taking advantage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation.
“A total of 2,063 notices were issued to traders under Section 21 of PCAP Act 2011 on suspicion of profiteering,” said the report.
To control and monitor the price of goods, 1,218 Price Monitoring Officers (PPH) have been assigned to monitor more than 500 items ranging from groceries, household appliances and cooked food.
According to the report, to further strengthen price monitoring, consumer squads comprising volunteers were formed to assist in monitoring the price of goods and services and as of August 2015, there were 233,243 volunteers involved.