Govt begins talks with stakeholders over fuel subsidy mechanism

SHAH ALAM: The Government has kicked of meetings with several stakeholders to get their views on how to effectively formulate the targeted fuel subsidy mechanism.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the his team has started meeting with fuel companies and dealers, and to also engage consumers before coming up with a proper mechanism.

"We want to ensure that when we do formulate the mechanism, it will go on without hiccups," he said after visiting the factories of two food industry players here.

He said that the Government should be given time to study the proper mechanisms, while acknowledging critics of the new subsidy policy who were concerned that owners of certain luxury cars could also gain to benefit.

"We welcome criticisms, but it would be more reasonable if they were matched with solutions, so we can solve this problem in a peaceful manner," he said.

Saifuddin said the mechanism will be implemented as early as April 1 next year, or before the end of the second quarter.

He added that the mechanism could be expanded on other subsidised items as well.

On Saturday (Nov 3), Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Government will study the fuel subsidy mechanism to ensure it is not abused.

He said the targeted fuel subsidy was designed to help those in the B40 category, earning RM3,000 and below.

Lim also hinted that the subsidy could be expanded to benefit other Malaysians, but made it clear that those who could afford luxury cars would not qualify.

In the 2019 Budget, the Government put in plans for motorists driving cars with engine capacities below 1,500cc and riding motorcycles below 125cc to enjoy RON95 petrol at a lower price.

Eligible cars can receive the subsidy of up to 100 litres per month, while motorcycles are eligible for 40 litres per month.