TARGETED SUBSIDIES REDUCE LEAKAGES, INCREASE AID TO THE PEOPLE – FAHMI


KOTA KINABALU, The targeted subsidy efforts implemented by the MADANI Government are playing a crucial role in reducing leakages and increasing aid initiatives for the people, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said.

He said the savings generated from the rationalisation of subsidies are channelled directly to the public through additional government initiatives, in turn boosting the people’s income and ensuring that subsidies do not end up in the hands of irresponsible parties.

Fahmi pointed out that in the case of diesel subsidies, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) reported that the country loses RM1.25 million daily due to leakages and diesel smuggling, saying that this substantial amount could instead be used to fund aid programmes for the people.

‘For instance, it was reported that a lorry was caught late last night attempting to fill and smuggle 4,800 litres of diesel. Despite the announcement of the targeted diesel subsidy being made at 5 pm, by midnight there were still attempts to steal diese
l,’ he said.

Fahmi said this at the Communications Ministry’s Excellence Service Award appreciation ceremony for the Sabah and Labuan Zone, where 69 ministry staff received their respective awards.

Yesterday, Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan announced that the price of diesel at all retail stations in Peninsular Malaysia will be set at RM3.35 per litre, which is the unsubsidised market price, from 12.01 am today.

Fahmi said if the targeted diesel subsidy had been announced a week earlier, the country could have faced losses of RM8 million to RM10 million due to leakage and smuggling by irresponsible parties.

He said leakages of subsidies provided by the government through smuggling, as what had happened in Pulau Sebatik, Tawau, need to be eradicated, adding that targeted subsidies ensure that only eligible Malaysians benefit from them.

”Pulau Sebatik is divided between Malaysia and Indonesia. Sometimes, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) canisters intended for Malaysians end up in Indonesia.
This is a violation because the LPG subsidy is meant for Malaysians, but some take advantage. We are working to ensure this leakage no longer occurs,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Fahmi said to directly pass on the savings from diesel subsidies to the people in Peninsular Malaysia, the government is implementing the BUDI MADANI cash assistance programme, which provides RM200 per month to private diesel vehicle owners, small-scale farmers and smallholders.

‘For individuals who are not part of companies, RM200 per month is sufficient, according to the Ministry of Finance’s review. Starting today, 30,000 people will begin receiving this assistance.

‘But looking forward, if this programme is successful and the subsidy reaches the people directly without being intercepted by middlemen, foreign fishermen or being taken across borders, we can expand this monthly assistance to include other forms of aid,’ he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency