SEREMBAN: The government will expand the location for People’s Income Initiative (IPR) vending machines to include several universities, hospitals, and private offices, says Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli.

Rafizi said the IPR self-service machine at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Puncak Alam will be launched on March 21 as soon as students return to the campus.

“The plan is to place these self-service machines in public areas, hot spots or places where there are many buyers (such as on campus).

“We are in the process of selecting a few more locations throughout the country. And in a few weeks, this initiative will be launched in several locations in Perak,” he told reporters after visiting the location of the IPR self-service machine at the Terminal 1 Bus Station today.

Elaborating, he said the ministry also plans to expand the vending machine programme to 5,000 beneficiaries under the Food Entrepreneur Initiative (INSAN) this year.

Under INSAN, the beneficiary will receive a self-service machine at a selected location, and the monthly rental of between RM600 and RM800 will be paid directly to the vending machine providers depending on its type.

Rafizi said the applications for the IPR machines exceeded the target, but the provision of the machines must be within the operators’ capabilities.

“The operators have to spend RM20,000 to RM30,000 for a vending machine. The government does not buy this vending machine, we only pay the rent, and the operators have to raise their own capital,” he said.

He also said that through IPR, operators could increase the use of vending machines nationwide, thus boosting the industry.

A recipient, Syuhaila Mohd Yusof, 48, said that through the initiative, she was able to sell pastries, bread, nasi lemak and fried chicken for RM1 to RM3 each, as per the standards set by the Health Ministry. -Bernama

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