KUALA LUMPUR: The government is looking at banking in money directly into the accounts of those eligible for RON95 petrol subsidy, says Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
"One method being considered is maintaining a single price for RON95 at the pumps and the subsidy is banked into the accounts of those eligible for the aid," he said when answering a supplementary question raised by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) in Parliament on Wednesday (April 10).
He added the ministry would use the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) database to identify those under the B40 category who qualify for the subsidy.
However, Saifuddin noted that only 90% of BSH recipients had bank accounts.
"We are in talks and have asked the banks to help open accounts for the 10% of BSH recipients in the rural areas that don't have accounts," he said.
The other alternative, he said, was to issue petrol cards to those eligible for the subsidy.
To a question by K. Subramaniam (PH-Sungai Siput), Saifuddin said the Finance Ministry had identified a vendor and was finalising details for implementation of the targeted subsidy programme.
"We want to ensure that the programme runs smoothly and not become chaotic the day it is implemented," he added.
He also told lawmakers there were no plans to compensate petrol station dealers under the programme.
The petrol subsidy was announced under 2019 Budget last November stating that owners of cars and motorcycles with 1,500cc and 125cc engines would receive subsidies for RON95 petrol at 30 sen per litre.
The subsidy for car owners would be limited to 100 litres of petrol monthly, while motorcycle owners will get 40 litres monthly.
Some RM2bil has been allocated for the new initiative, which is expected to benefit more than four million car owners and 2.6 million motorcycle owners.
The petrol subsidy programme is scheduled to be implemented by the second quarter of this year.