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Monday September 2, 2013 MYT 6:54:00 PM
Monday September 2, 2013 MYT 11:41:49 PM
by lee yen mun
PUTRAJAYA: Price for RON95 petrol and diesel will be raised by 20 sen per liter from midnight.
The move is aimed at reducing the fiscal deficit, thus saving RM1.1bil per year for the Government, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib said despite the increase, the government would still be subsidising 63 sen for RON 95 petrol.
"The subsidy rationalisation will be carried out in many stages. The first is that the price of RON95 and diesel will be increased by 20 sen per litre from 12.01am Tuesday," Najib told a press conference after chairing a meeting of the Fiscal Policy Committee (FPC) on Monday.
The new prices for RON95 will be RM2.10 per litre and RM2.00 for diesel.
To address the burden on low-income and vulnerable groups in the fuel subsidy rationalization, Najib said the quantum for the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) will be increased in the upcoming national budget announcement.
Najib also promised that a comprehensive "social safety net" and further fiscal measures would be introduced in the 2014 Budget.
He said the FPC has reaffirmed the Government's commitment to achieve a fiscal deficit target of about 3% of gross domestic product by 2015 and to attain a balanced budget by 2020.
"The moderation in the current account of the balance of payments (BOP), coupled with continued fiscal deficits pose medium-term risks to the economy.
"Currently, our subsidy system benefits everyone, including the higher income group and foreigners.
"Thus, we need to move to a more targeted subsidy system that caters to vulnerable groups," Najib said.
Other measures announced by Najib include giving priority to public sector projects with low-import content and high-multiplier effects.
"Projects with high import components will be sequenced accordingly, so as not to adversely impact the BOP position.
"However, the Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) Lines 1, 2, and 3 will proceed as planned.
"The Southern Corridor High-Speed Rail project is still under negotiations," he said.
Over the medium to longer term, Najib said the Government will diversify the country's export markets and tourism would be given greater focus in the upcoming Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
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