PETALING JAYA: Instead of completely removing subsidies for petrol, the government should gradually raise the price of RON95 petrol by 10 sen or 20 sen, says Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said with many countries experiencing high inflation, it was not a suitable time to completely remove petrol subsidies.
“However, the government can consider raising RON95 petrol by 10 sen or 20 sen.
“But, don’t touch on diesel prices when inflation rates are high now, because it correlates with the production and transportation costs which will eventually put more pressure on the inflation rate,” said the former prime minister on Facebook on Wednesday (June 22).
Najib also said the government should raise export duties and windfall taxes for the palm oil sector, given the high crude oil prices due to shortage in global supply.
He said additional revenues from the proposals could be channelled every three months to various cash aid programmes to assist the B40 and M40 who were badly affected by the inflation.
“The T20 is unaffected by high food prices, but it is a huge stress for the B40 and certain M40 groups.
“The every three-month cash aid will definitely alleviate the cost of food for the B40 and M40,” he said.
“Besides that, the government should also quickly resolve the issue of labour shortage because it is among the main factors causing the lack of production and the rise in food prices,” added the Pekan MP.
Najib also said with the present RON95 subsidies set at RM2.50 per litre, it translates to about RM4,500 of annual subsidies if an individual were to fill up three full tanks in a month.
"The former Barisan Nasional administration addressed the matter by floating the petrol prices on a weekly basis.
“The savings from this were channelled to the BR1M programme, where payments were increased from RM500 to RM1,200, and finally to RM2,000 a year in the 14th General Election.
“However, it isn’t a suitable time to abolish fuel subsidies at present,” he added.
On June 11, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the government still had enough funds to provide petrol subsidies despite rising global crude oil prices.
He said in May that Malaysia was expected to fork out as much as RM71bil in total subsidies for 2022, and petrol subsidies alone would touch RM30bil.
Zafrul said for every RM1 of fuel subsidy, 53 sen goes to the T20 group, while 15 sen was utilised by the B40.
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