‘Transition to targeted subsidy no longer an option’

Minister or Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

PUTRAJAYA: The government has started the transition to targeted subsidies by reducing subsidies for non-domestic medium and high voltage electricity users as the blanket rebate is inefficient and unsustainable, says Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

“We get a lot of criticism from the industry, but this transition is no longer an option,” said the minister in his New Year’s address to the ministry staff here yesterday, as reported by Bernama.

He said the government also needed to ensure the high reliability of the national electricity supply system and prevent any negative impact on the environment, while maintaining a tariff that all residents in Malaysia could afford.

The government, he said, had also set a target to increase the generation of electricity from renewable sources (RE).

As such, he called for the ministry to facilitate industry participation, ensure reasonable costs, and reduce bureaucracy for RE to develop.

In another development, Nik Nazmi said the ministry would develop the National Water Policy by emphasising the role of water in the management framework involving the environment, climate change, energy, biodiversity and natural resources.

He said about 90% of the natural disasters happening in the world were water-related, either due to floods or droughts, causing millions in losses every year.

He said that the ministry needed to improve its strategy for reducing the risk of disasters and the effects of climate change, like floods.

These included the conservation of water catchment areas as natural treasures that are very important for the country’s water resources, he added.

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