Govt to study how to help tour bus operators hit by diesel subsidy removal

PETALING JAYA: The government will explore ways to help tour bus operators following the removal of subsidised diesel, says Fahmi Fadzil.

The Communications Minister, speaking to reporters in Putrajaya on Wednesday (June 12), said that the government was aware of tour bus operators' concerns about higher fuel prices.

“The government intends to look at a mechanism in which we can assist this particular group because the announcement (of subsidy removal) came at a time when they had made certain arrangements,” he said.

Previously, tour bus operators have expressed concern about the exclusion of express and tour buses from receiving diesel subsidies beginning June 10.

Industry players say prices could rise between 15% and 30% owing to the sudden implementation of rationalised diesel subsidies.

Peninsular Tour Bus Operators Association president Steven Chong said operation costs would increase up to 30%, adding that the rationalisation disrupted services provided by about 150 association members whose customers are mainly foreign tourists.

“On top of the floating diesel rate, we need to pay all sorts of expenses like bus maintenance, bills, salaries, spare parts, and now we have to pay a service tax of 8%.

“Operators can’t afford to absorb the prices,” he said.

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