Govt to increase RON95, diesel quota from April 21

PONTIAN: The supply quota of subsidised RON95 petrol and diesel throughout the country will be increased from Friday (April 21) until May 5, to meet the demands of consumers during the festive period.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub said the increase in quota was for 4,030 petrol stations nationwide and the move was to avoid a shortage of fuel supply as occurred last year.

"In conjunction with the Aidilfitri, Wesak and Labour Day holidays, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) has taken a proactive approach and has approved additional quotas of RON95 and diesel for oil companies," he told reporters after launching the Rahmah Sale for Imported Meat at the Econsave supermarket here on Thursday (April 20).

In May last year, it was reported that several petrol stations were experiencing fuel supply shortages due to unexpectedly higher demand of up to 50 per cent during the Aidilfitri festive period.

In another development, he said KPDN had received many complaints about traders not displaying price tags on goods since the beginning of Ramadan, including those listed in the Festive Season Maximum Price Scheme (SHMMP) in conjunction with Aidilfitri.

However, Salahuddin said the ministry had taken a friendly approach by only giving advice to the traders involved and that legal action would be imposed if they repeated the offence.

"So far there has been no violation of the maximum price scheme, only that the KPDN has received hundreds of complaints with regard to traders not putting up price tags and I found that it was the case even when I myself made a surprise visit," he said.

He added that there were traders in several locations who sold fresh chicken above the control price of RM9.40 per kg because they claimed to be receiving the supplies via two to three layers of wholesalers, and were also forced to impose a cutting charge of RM1.

"We referred to the law, (that) when they (traders) display the price of chicken at RM9.40 and say they have a charge of RM1 for cutting service, as long as the customer agrees (to pay that amount) it is not an offence," he said.

Meanwhile, on the Rahmah Sale for Imported Meat initiative, Salahuddin said 90 Econsave branches nationwide were offering 500 tonnes of imported buffalo meat at RM14.90 per kg compared to the ceiling price of RM20 per kg set by the government.

Meanwhile, in a statement from Putrajaya, Salahuddin said an additional quota of 1.2 million litres or four per cent for RON95 petrol and 1.1 million litres (eight per cent) for subsidised diesel had been approved for the Aidilfitri festive period.

"KPDN is aware of the high possibility of an increase in fuel consumption based on the extraordinary number of vehicles on the road for trips back to hometowns, visitations and other destinations," he said in a statement today.

He said the ministry constantly monitored controlled items including the supply of subsidised RON95 petrol and diesel throughout the country, especially in the border areas of the country and certain rural areas to reduce the risk of subsidy leakages caused by foreign vehicles and unqualified sectors.

"All petrol stations are expected to increase control so that the sale of RON95 petrol and subsidised diesel is only for vehicles with local registration numbers," he said, adding that the KPDN would not compromise with any petrol station that did not comply with the regulations.

Salahuddin also reminded station operators to comply with the set operating hours and not to close their premises without permission from the ministry.- Bernama

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