The Assessment of Direct Agricultural Investment and Cash Transfer on Households in Malaysia: An Evidence of Compensation Mechanisms for Fuel Subsidy Removal
The objective of this study was to examine the impacts of introducing compensation mechanisms of direct agricultural investment and cash transfer for fuel subsidy removal, with particular focus on the income and consumption of all household segments in Malaysia. A computable general equilibrium (CGE) model was built on the basics of the standardized LöfgrenCGE model to conduct this study. The subsidy removal, without integrating any compensation mechanism, imposed additional burdens of living cost on households as fuel was one of the important elements of the consumption basket especially during the period of transition, thus indicating a need for this study. The ultimate results revealed that the introduction of direct cash transfer was more desirable for both the low-and the medium-income segments to live with high prices where their existing consumption level would be maintained. Comparatively, the direct agricultural investment by increasing the use of intermediate inputs in the production did not seem to be enough to help the rural low-income segment within the period, mainly because of reducing the factor income (factor reallocation effect), and exaggerating consumption expenditure subsequently. Thus, direct cash transfer was considered a direct and faster way to help the needy in the short term. However, the direct agricultural investment remained the best approach to gain long-lasting impacts; not only in helping the rural poor, who mostly dealt in agricultural activities, but also in motivating overall economic activities
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