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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Govt can save up to RM17b if T20 not given subsidy for oil, petrol


The government could save up to RM17 billion if the T20 group is not given subsidies for oil and petrol commodities, said Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan.

Speaking at the Dewan Rakyat today, Ahmad said the rich benefitted RM17.8 billion (35 percent) of the overall RM50.8 billion in subsidies for petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in 2022.

Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan

Meanwhile, 24 percent of the subsidies allocated by the government were benefited by the B40 group while the remaining 41 percent were enjoyed by the M40.

Ahmad said the hefty amount that could be saved from subsidising the T20 group can be used to help the poor and other matters among the 26 ministries.

“The expenditure on subsidies for petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in 2022 is RM50.8 billion.

“Of the amount, the T20 group was subsidised to the tune of RM17.8 billion.

"So, can you imagine how much we do to help the poor in various matters and affairs in 26 ministries from the sum?” he asked.

Ahmad was responding to a question by Ahmad Amzad Mohamed (Perikatan Nasional-Kuala Terengganu) on whether Putrajaya has plans to implement targeted subsidies for petrol, LPG, and cooking oil for those in the lower-income bracket. 

Meanwhile, in a separate presser today, Ahmad said Malaysia is the only country that provides subsidies to the rich far more than what it gives to the poor.

“Are there other countries that give subsidies to the rich far more than what they give to the poor? No, right? Malaysia is the only one,” he said.

Earlier in the Dewan Rakyat, the Pontian MP also said the government had spent a total of RM66.3 billion last year in subsidies and this includes cooking oil, chicken, eggs, and electricity tariff. 

While the implementation of the subsidies had helped reduce the impact of the surging cost of living, Ahmad said it also resulted in leakages.

“For example, the big difference in market value and the subsidies price for diesel increases the risk of smuggling of the good,” he said, adding that the government is committed to implementing targeted subsidies to lessen leakages. - Mkini

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