Wee: Budi Madani diesel subsidy scheme too stringent

PETALING JAYA: The current Budi Madani diesel subsidy scheme eligibility criteria are too stringent for farmers and smallholders, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The MCA president said the current requirement for all applicants to be registered companies with annual sales revenue ranging from RM50,000 to RM300,000 means that the vast majority of farmers and smallholders will not qualify for the subsidy.

He said the RM200 per month subsidy is insufficient for smallholders and farmers, as diesel is not only used for transportation but also for various agricultural machinery.“Should the diesel subsidy rationalisation take place, smallholders and farmers’ operational costs will increase, and this will lead to either increased food prices or reduced production,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.

“Given that food security and food prices are issues of the utmost public importance, it is a big mistake to put the agriculture sector under the Budi Madani scheme.”

Dr Wee, who is the Ayer Hitam MP, also argued that the agriculture sector, along with transportation, should be made eligible for the Subsidised Diesel Control System 2.0 instead of being subjected to the Budi Madani diesel subsidy scheme.

“However, if the government insists on placing the agriculture sector under Budi Madani, the amount of monthly subsidies should be increased to a more reasonable amount,” he said, before proposing that aid should also be expanded to include sole proprietors, with the qualifying annual sales revenue ceiling broadened to a more reasonable ceiling of up to RM1.5mil, without any minimum threshold.

As of Thursday, more than 30,000 applicants, farmers and small-scale commodity growers have been approved to receive cash subsidy assistance under the Budi Madani initiative.

The Finance Ministry said recipients will receive the first cash assistance amounting to RM200 each, which will be disbursed on June 10 through their bank accounts, while those without a bank account can claim the subsidy in cash by bringing their MyKad to any Bank Simpanan Nasional branch in Peninsular Malaysia.

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Budi Madani , diesel , subsidy , Wee Ka Siong


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