IPOH, Dec 4 — The number of household heads categorised as hardcore poor in Perak has declined by 51 per cent from 9,402 to 4,819 as of Nov 18, the state legislative assembly was told today.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad attributed the decline to the successful implementation of people’s well-being programmes throughout the state.

“Over 100 programmes have been held in collaboration with departments and aid agencies such as the taskforce mobile team, entrepreneurship programmes, skills courses, business assistance, renovating/building new houses and so on to assist this group and subsequently bring them out of the hardcore poor category,” he said during the question and answer session.

He was replying to a question from Syed Lukman Hakim Syed Mohd Zin (PN-Chenderoh) who wanted to know the state government’s role in supporting the federal government’s aim to eradicate hardcore poverty by 2024.

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Meanwhile, Saarani said the state government was actively collecting names of hardcore poor individuals from every district in the state to invite them to participate in the People’s Income Initiative (IPR).

He said participants would undergo an interview to get feedback on the type of assistance they wish to apply for, and it will be approved based on eligibility and the programme implementation guidelines. The outcome would be monitored by IPR field officers placed in each district.

“The pilot project of this programme has started to show results where some participants have successfully got out of the eKasih hardcore poor category by earning a maximum monthly income of RM3,000, compared to their initial minimum income per month of only RM500.

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“In addition, the various types of assistance provided to this group have also shown signs of success with an increasing pattern of their monthly income,” he said. — Bernama