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Targeted subsidies for diesel by middle of the year, says Ahmad Maslan

Publish date: Mon, 27 Mar 2023, 02:01 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The mechanism for targeted diesel subsidy is expected to be completed by June, says Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.

"We are expecting it to be completed within the second quarter of this year," he said in reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin (PN-Putrajaya) during Question Time.

Radzi had asked the Finance Ministry to explain when the targeted subsidy for petrol would be implemented and to reveal the eligibility criteria to ensure that those from the B40 group will receive the targeted subsidy.

Previously, the government had revealed it was planning to introduce targeted subsidies for electricity and diesel but those for RON95 petrol would be slightly delayed.

Ahmad said that the government had spent a total of RM50.8bil on subsidised petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas last year, with 32% of T20 income earners benefiting from it, while those from the B40 used 20%, and the M40 income group had used 46%.

"RM50.8bil is a huge amount for fuel subsidy. If we don't give it to the T20, we will save between RM16bil and RM17bil.

"For diesel specifically, we are currently studying how it will have an impact on the cost of living.

"That is why, we are looking at a different treatment for small and medium businesses. So, we are still studying all of these," he said.

However, he added that targeted subsidies for petrol would not be implemented anytime soon, adding that the government does not see any timeline when it would be carried out.

He also said that the government was conducting a study on a proposed e-cooking oil subsidy scheme, a tracking system of 1kg subsidised cooking oil packs - from the manufacturer to the retailer level.

On the set criteria, a special task force has been formed under the Finance Ministry to collaborate with other relevant agencies and departments to examine the needs and feasibility of providing targeted subsidies, and identify the method for effective distribution.

These will also consider how it will minimise the financial implications to the government, added Ahmad.

"The determination of eligibility criteria has not yet been decided, but the effort to develop a comprehensive data centre is being made to help the government set the criteria based on the available data," he said.

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