Subsidised diesel being siphoned off by profiteers

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 18 Aug 2004

PORT DICKSON: The Government is losing as much as 30% of diesel sales to illegal profiteers, said Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk S. Veerasingam.  

“We found that many unscrupulous parties are misusing the Government’s petroleum subsidies to make huge profits for themselves,” he added, saying that 31 cases were detected in Port Dickson over the past three months. 

“By right, the money used to subsidise the petroleum should be allocated for public amenities such as hospitals, health services and education,” he told reporters after launching the “Fly the National Flag” campaign at the Shell Refinery here yesterday. 

In detailing the matter, Veerasingam said these unscrupulous parties would purchase diesel in bulk from one petrol kiosk to another before storing it in a large tank elsewhere. 

He said the subsidised diesel was meant to help transportation firms and fishermen; instead it was illegally sold to the industrial sector or smuggled out to other countries. 

“The industrial has to pay RM1.31 per litre while at the petrol kiosk, it is 77 sen per litre, or a substantial difference of about 60 sen.  

In Kuching, the soaring diesel prices may force some 30-odd bus firms out of business. 

These bus companies were hard hit and had incurred heavy losses as diesel prices had doubled in the last two years. 

“The prices of diesel have shot up to RM1.30 per litre, up from 58 sen in 2002 and 72 sen early last year,” he said.  

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