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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rafizi: Will petrol subsidies make a comeback?

PKR lawmaker says RON95 prices are expected to increase next year as crude oil prices have jumped by 18% over a month.
rafizi-ron95
KUALA LUMPUR: PKR’s Rafizi Ramli is wondering if Putrajaya will re-introduce petrol subsidies as RON95 prices are expected to increase in 2017.
The Pandan lawmaker said based on the formula the government adopts to set petrol prices, RON95 will increase to RM2.20 per litre (from RM1.90 now) as crude oil prices have gone up by 18%.
“Crude oil prices have surged since Opec decided to rationalise its production,” he said at a press conference here, alluding to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Rafizi went on to point out that a barrel of Brent crude oil cost US$54.78. In November, the price was USD$46.38.
The 18% increase, he said, would have a direct impact on the RON95 market price, which will be reviewed on Jan 1.
“The weakening ringgit will only compound matters.”
On a related matter, Rafizi – who was previously attached to Petronas – said as an oil-producing nation, Malaysia should reap benefits from the increasing price of crude oil.
He said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan should openly state whether Putrajaya would use the profits from the sale of oil to subsidise petrol.
He then took a swipe at Rahman who had previously said that Pakatan Harapan – of which PKR is a member – was too busy fussing over who would become the prime minister that it had no policy in place to help the rakyat.
“He says we don’t have a policy, but this is it. If we ran the country today, we will give back whatever profits we make to the people.”
The government had in 2014 removed fuel subsidies to bolster the national economy. The price is now determined by the managed float system.
The move, according to reports then, was expected to save the government up to US$6 billion annually. -FMT

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