Targeted fuel subsidy in final stages of fine-tuning

Targeted fuel subsidy in final stages of fine-tuning


There’s still no word on when the targeted fuel subsidy for the lower income B40 group will be officially announced by the government, but the scheme is apparently in the final stages of preparation and will be revealed soon, Bernama reports.

According to domestic trade and consumer affairs (KPDNHEP) minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, the subsidy plan is undergoing a fine tuning process, following which it will be tabled in Parliament and then announced.

“Although in terms of the timeline, it should have been announced in the first quarter of this year, it is now in the final phase,” he said. He explained that the phase involved much cross-checking of data to ensure only those truly eligible received the subsidy.

Last month, it was reported that the government had revised its approach as to how the subsidy will be offered. During Budget 2019, finance minister Lim Guan Eng had said that the government planned to subsidise owners of vehicles and motorcycles with engine capacities below 1,500cc and 125cc respectively a subsidy rate of 30 sen per litre for RON 95 petrol. This would be capped at 100 litres per owner of a vehicle and 40 litres for those with motorcycles.

Under the updated plan, the scheme will no longer utilise this method, and will instead switch to cash being directly given to lower income households already enlisted for the cost of living aid (BSH) scheme, similar to that being done for the current BSH programme.

Saifuddin said that the BSH referencing involved cross-checking data with a number of agencies, including the road transport department (JPJ), national registration department, inland revenue board as well as Bank Negara. He said that once the paper was completed, it will be tabled to the Cabinet and if approved, an announcement will be made for its implementation.

Presently, the government is subsiding RON 95 petrol for all users, capping the price of the fuel at RM2.08 a litre. According to official data from the government, Malaysians use about 1.2 billion litres of petrol monthly, with up to 90% of consumption being for RON 95. It was also previously reported that the price cap on RON 95 petrol will be lifted once the targeted fuel subsidy scheme comes into effect.

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