KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — The giving of fuel subsidy through the Petrol Subsidy Programme (PSP) is the right move by the government to ensure that the aid benefits only the B40 group, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said this is to prevent ineligible groups from enjoying the fuel subsidy from the government.
“Studies have shown that there are people owning six cars who benefit from the fuel subsidy and that is why we are giving for only one car from the B40 group.
“We cannot give subsidy to the rich, and we see that under the old subsidy those using luxury cars like Rolls-Royce also get the subsidy.
“This is the right kind of aid targeted at those who need it, not where those with luxury cars also enjoy fuel subsidy from the government,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here today.
Dr Mahathir was commenting on Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail’s announcement yesterday that the PSP, which will be implemented on January 1 next year, would ease the burden of some 2.9 million recipients of Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) who have cars in peninsular Malaysia.
A subsidy of RM30 per month will be given to owners of cars 1600cc and below and those exceeding 1600cc but more than 10 years old, while RM12 per month to owners of motorcycles 150cc and below and motorcycles above 150cc that are more than seven years old.
The subsidy will be given in cash and credited directly into the accounts of recipients every four months.
With the implementation of the PSP, RON95 will be floated in peninsular Malaysia for non-recipients of BSH but its price will be fixed at RM2.08 per litre in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.
Meanwhile, Saifuddin Nasution said the government will look into an opt-in and opt-out option for the recipients of the targeted fuel subsidy.
“I will welcome it if the data is not complete, that means if others feel they should be included (as recipients of the PSP), then we are okay with that and we do the opt-in and opt-out,” he told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby.
He was responding to questions on why only the BSH recipients are eligible to receive the targeted fuel subsidy.
When asked why the PSP is not implemented in Sabah and Sarawak, he said: “The numbers of petrol consumption (there) are relatively low as compared to Semenanjung.” — Bernama