Malaysia will soon introduce food stamps on the lines of similar programmes in the U.S. to cushion the rising food prices in the country, the Deputy Prime Minister has said.
The Government was concerned about the rising cost of living which was occurring globally, and the food stamp idea was among the options being considered in an effort to reduce its impact, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said.
Food stamps have been used in the U.S. for over 70 years to assist its low-and no-income citizens. Recipients are given an account and a plastic card, known as the Electronic Benefit Transfer card, to purchase food like bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy products.
“We will have to look into many areas and factors to cushion the rising cost of living,” he was quoted as saying by ’The Star’ newspaper.
Mr. Muhyiddin, who heads the Cabinet committee looking into the cost of living, said that besides food stamps, some countries also provided annual incentives or had a stockpile system.
Malaysia already provides subsidies for fuel and other items.
Mr. Muhyiddin said rising prices is a global issue linked to the higher price of fuel which is affecting food production.
At the same time, long droughts and floods which hit many food-producing countries also affected the price of many commodities, he added.