PUTRAJAYA: The government is still maintaining subsidies for cooking oil worth RM4bil, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Prime Minister also announced that the temporary subsidy programme for 1kg, 2kg, 3kg and 5kg bottled cooking oil, which was introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic, will be discontinued from July 1.
He also clarified that the subsidy for cooking oil in 1kg packets was still in effect, and that this was first announced in 2007.
In a special announcement Wednesday (June 22), Ismail Sabri added that the temporary subsidy started in August 2021 and was aimed at assisting the rakyat facing difficulties during the pandemic.
“The government has decided not to extend the subsidy for bottled cooking oil, as it does not meet the initial goal of the initiative, which was to help those affected by the pandemic.
“However, the government found that the assistance provided was misused by certain people including the commercial sector, industries and due to smuggling,” he said.
Ismail Sabri added that the temporary cooking oil subsidy cost the government RM55mil per month and was initially slated for only three months from August 2021.
He also said that existing subsidies for cooking oil in packets would continue.
“There were rumours saying that the subsidy for cooking oil in packets was removed, it was not and it is still available,” he said.
The government has spent RM4bil in subsidy for the cooking oil this year, compared to RM500mil in 2020 and RM2.2bil in 2021.
“The government subsidised 60,000 metric tonnes of cooking oil, which is more than public requirements of 55,000 metric tonnes per month,” Ismail Sabri added, referring to the 1kg packet cooking oil.
During the announcement, additional cash assistance to the B40 group was also announced by Ismail Sabri under the Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia.
Each household of BKM recipients will receive RM100, meanwhile single individuals will receive RM50, he said.
He added that the payment will be made in four stages, starting from June 27 and will benefit over 8.6 million people.
“The BKM Phase 2 payment involves an allocation of RM1.11 billion, where each BKM recipient receives up to RM400 according to their respective qualification categories.
“Each BKM recipient will receive up to RM500 according to their respective BKM qualification categories.
“The additional cash assistance payment paid together with the BKM Phase 2 payment involves an additional allocation of RM630 million,” Ismail Sabri said.
The decision to provide the financial assistance was after the government had taken into consideration rising living costs and food prices, the Prime Minister said.
He added that the additional cash payments involve an extra allocation of RM630mil, making the total allocation of BKM to RM1.74bil.