PMX: Implementing targeted subsidies for fuel not easy

THE government is still working on a viable mechanism to impose targeted subsidies for diesel and petrol, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“It is not an easy task for diesel and petrol as compared to implementing targeted subsidies for electricity. The implementation is very complex. Unlike electricity, you know the house, the factory, and that is okay.

“But diesel is difficult. You may see the car, but sometimes it is the driver, sometimes they can take from a small car and pass (the subsidised fuel) to a big car. All these have been studied,” the Tambun MP told reporters after visiting hawker stalls at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur in a walkabout programme this morning.

Anwar repeated his stance that subsidies should be provided primarily to the underprivileged and not to the wealthy. He noted that the current diesel and petrol subsidy mechanisms benefit everyone, including high-income earners who drive luxury vehicles.

The government intends to do it as soon as possible, according to him.

“If it (the mechanism) is ready, then we will implement it tomorrow. We are working on it. I don’t want to make a commitment (on a specific deadline), but we want it to be as fast as possible.”

Moreover, the government announced earlier this year its intention to revamp the country’s subsidy mechanisms, aiming for a more targeted approach so that subsidies will reach only those who need them.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan told the Dewan Rakyat in February that the government could save up to RM17 bil if the T20 group is not given subsidies for diesel and petrol. – June 15, 2023

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