PUTRAJAYA: The government will remain proactive and consistent in its measures to cushion the impact of the global economic crisis and bring down prices, the deputy prime minister said. Datuk Seri Najib Razak said every effort must be made to generate a reasonable level of economic growth.
“The real economy must be protected and brought to a level where the people will not be burdened with the economic slowdown,” he said when launching Carrefour Malay-sia’s price-cut campaign yesterday.
Also present were Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, Carrefour senior adviser Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin and Carrefour Malaysia/Singapore managing director Shafie Shamsuddin.
The six-month campaign involves the reduction of prices of 1,000 essential goods, including vegetables, fish, poultry, meat, dry goods as well as home-related items, with discounts of up to 50 per cent. Najib, also the finance minister, said the government would implement all people-related programmes as planned such as housing and public facilities.
“All that which can ease inflation will be laid out. Let this year be the only exceptional year for the country where inflation grew to as high as seven per cent.
“Hopefully, next year, we will bring down the rate of inflation to three or four per cent.”
Najib said several hypermarkets and supermarkets, including Mydin, Jusco, Tesco, Giant and The Store, had already reduced prices.
“Carrefour is joining the list. I believe the price cut is genuine for the benefit of consumers.”
Later, Najib told a press conference that he was confident the economic forecasts for this year and next year could be achieved on condition that all projects under the RM7 billion fiscal stimulus package were carried out as scheduled.
On the report that China has unveiled a US$586 billion (RM2,092 billion) stimulus package to bolster domestic demand and help avert global recession, Najib described the move as positive not only for Malaysia but also the region.
The plan includes spending on housing, infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare and social welfare.
It features a tax deduction for capital spending by companies.
Asian stocks rallied in response to China’s plan.
Najib said the spending package would boost China as one of Malaysia’s largest export markets.
“Its readiness to export some of its surplus capital to all parts of the world is commendable.
“It is indeed a positive move because when the people have confidence, they will start consuming and investors will start investing. Tourists will also start coming.”
Carrefour boss Shafie said they were the first hypermarket to introduce a price reduction campaign.
“We initiated it in 2006 and implemented it twice last year. This year in March, we embarked on the campaign again and the current campaign is our biggest offer.”
Source : NST