Fewer hardcore poor households in past 6 months, says deputy minister

Deputy Economy Minister Hanifah Hajar Taib says the number of hardcore poor households is under 120,000 now. – Facebook pic, May 25, 2023.

THE number of households in the hardcore poor category has decreased from 124,744 to 118,217 from December 15, 2022, until May 15 this year, Deputy Economy Minister Hanifah Hajar Taib told the Dewan Rakyat today.

She said according to the eKasih dynamic data managed by the Implementation Coordination Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department, the number of registered household heads in the poor category dropped from 304,911 to 299,080 in the same period.

She said based on the Household Income, Expenditure and Basic Amenities Survey Report 2019, the incidence rate was 5.6% for absolute poverty and 0.4% for hardcore poverty.

“DOSM (Statistics Department) is finalising the findings of the 2022 survey, which is expected to be published in the third quarter of 2023,” she said during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat.

She said this in reply to a question from Mohd Syahir Che Sulaiman (Bachok-PN) about the progress the government has made in lowering the poverty rate and eliminating hardcore poverty over the last six months.

Hanifah Hajar said the country’s labour market has improved since the country entered its transitory phase to Covid-19 endemicity transition, as the unemployment rate for March 2023 dropped to 3.5% compared with 5.3% in May 2020.

Strong economic growth in 2022 helped support recovery in the labour market, she said.

She said the government is implementing various interventions to address poverty, some of which had been announced by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim during the tabling of Budget 2023.

Hanifah Hajar said as of May 22, a total of 82,892 participants had registered for the People’s Income Initiative, which focuses on empowering the B40 group, and that RM750 million has been allocated for that purpose this year. – Bernama, May 25, 2023.

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