B40 petrol subsidy programme postponed

PUTRAJAYA, 30 Dec 2019:

The Petrol Subsidy Programme – scheduled for implementation in January – has been postponed, with the new launch date to be announced later, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

In a statement today, he said the decision to postpone the programme had been made at the Cabinet meeting on Dec 18.

In the meantime, he said, “the public will continue to enjoy petrol prices based on the existing system”.

Saifuddin Nasution explained the programme was postponed to enable briefing sessions to be continued, with the aim of creating awareness and to prepare the public for the implementation of the programme.

It will also provide time for the registration of subsidy beneficiaries, which will be undertaken by the Finance Ministry.

On Oct 7 this year, the government announced the introduction of the programme in January 2020, in line with Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto.

In this connection, the government allocated RM2.4 billion for the programme in the 2020 Budget, with programme beneficiaries totalling eight million people from the B40 (low income) and M40 (middle income) groups.

The beneficiaries will each be given a subsidy of RM30 a month for vehicle owners, and RM12 a month for motorcycle owners – the subsidies are to be provided in cash which will be credited into the bank accounts of beneficiaries every four months.

Following the implementation of the programme, the RON95 petrol price will be floated.

Meanwhile in BUKIT MERTAJAM today, Saifuddin Nasution explained that before the programme is implemented, more briefings will be conducted for the public to enable a good reception of the initiative.

Speaking after attending an event here, the minister explained that when the programme takes effect, its eight million beneficiaries will enjoy the subsidy while other consumers “will purchase petrol at the floated price”.

He added that the government was ready to go ahead with the programme except for the need to provide more briefings for the public.

– Bernama