SHAH ALAM: The Government will soon initiate its procurement process to acquire the services or system to carry out the targeted RON95 fuel subsidy.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said on Thursday (Nov 11) this will be carried out by the Finance Ministry in a week or two.
He said that handing out cash is out of the option and the government is looking into other methods such as cards.
"Whether it is a card in the form of chips or magnetic stripes, it has to be cheap but secure. So those are the options that we are looking into.
"We are now in the process of finalising and fine tuning the requirements. We are almost there.
"There are proposals from various companies that are prepared to share their expertise.
"We have no problem identifying potential companies and we are prepared to do an open tender process," he told reporters here after launching the Aeon Member Plus Visa Card and Aeon Wallet on Thursday.
Saifuddin said Malaysians use around 1.2 billion litres of petrol monthly and 90% of it is RON95 while the remaining 10% is RON97.
"Can you imagine the money the government needs to spend to subsidise RON95?
"We have agreed that this subsidy will be implemented by the second quarter of next year (2019) and the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has been given the task to run it.
"We are identifying the best system and mechanism which, among other parameters, has to be seamless and secure.
"If it's good enough, we can also use the same system for subsidy of other consumer goods," he said.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has said that 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.
In the 2019 Budget, the government planned for those driving cars with engine sizes below 1,500cc to enjoy a subsidy of RM30 a month for 100 litres of RON95 petrol.
For those riding motorcycles with engines below 125cc, the subsidy will be RM12 monthly for 40 litres of RON95 petrol.
The government has projected that it will spend some RM2bil next year for the petrol subsidy, which is expected to benefit some 6.6 million Malaysians.