Saifuddin: Petrol subsidy may be banked directly

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is looking at banking in money directly into the accounts of those eligible for RON95 petrol subsidy, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (pic).

“One method being considered is maintaining a single price for RON95 and banking the subsidy 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.

He said the ministry would use the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) database to identify those under the B40 category who qualify for the subsidy.Saifuddin, however, noted that only 90% of BSH recipients had bank accounts.

“We are in talks with the banks to help open accounts for the 10% of BSH recipients in the rural areas who don’t have accounts,” he said.

The other alternative, he said, was petrol cards for those eligible.

To a question by K. Subramaniam (PH-Sungai Siput), Saifuddin said the Finance Ministry had identified a vendor, and is finalising details for implementation of the 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 are no plans to compensate petrol station dealers under the programme.

The petrol subsidy was announced under 2019 Budget last November, whereby owners of cars and motorcycles with 1,500cc and 125cc engines respectively will receive subsidies for RON95 petrol at 30 sen per litre.The subsidy for car owners will be limited to 100 litres of petrol monthly, while motorcycle owners will get 40 litres monthly.

Some RM2bil had been allocated to 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 to be implemented by the second quarter of this year.


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