Govt spent RM42bil on fuel subsidies, Parliament told

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of RM42bil was spent on fuel subsidies last year, says Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.

The Deputy Finance Minister said that this amount was from the additional RM52.77bil allocation meant for the treasury's general services.

"I acknowledge that this is the first time in history that such a large amount is being sought under a supplementary supply bill.

"This is due to the problems faced with regard to subsidies," he said when wrapping up his ministerial replies on the Supplementary Supply Bill 2023 in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (March 30).

He was asked by Sim Tze Tzin (PH-Bayan Baru) why an additional RM60.17bil was sought by the government for expenditure last year, particularly the RM52.77bil by the treasury.

"Budget 2022 was initially forecasted based on the price of crude oil at USD60 (RM265) per barrel.

"But by the year's end, the price of crude oil shot up to USD110 (RM486) per barrel.

"That is why the extra allocation is needed for fuel subsidies," he said.

Out of the additional RM42bil allocation for fuel subsidy, he said that RM20.4bil was for diesel.

"That is why we are currently looking at diesel as a targeted subsidy.

"However, the government has assured that school bus operators would not be affected under the targeted subsidy," he added.

He said the blockchain software programme to implement targeted diesel subsidy would be ready between July and September this year.

He also said the additional allocation was also used for electricity bill subsidies (RM5bil), chicken and chicken eggs subsidy (RM1.8bil) and special Hari Raya payments for civil servants (RM1bil) and RM1.2bil for contract doctors among others.

Under the Supplementary Supply Bill, additional allocation was sought for the Election Commission (RM84.4mil), Treasury (RM1.19bil), Treasury's General Services (RM52.7bil), Consolidated Statutory Fund (RM2.24).

Also included under the Bill was allocation for the National Unity Department (RM14.09mil), Agricultural and Food Industry Ministry (RM24.53mil), Domestic Trade and Consumer Ministry (RM2.05bil), Health Ministry (RM676mil), Defence Ministry (RM303mil) and Education Ministry (RM803mil).

Dewan Rakyat passed the Supplementary Supply Bill (RM60.17bil) through a majority voice vote.

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