Gov't can save RM17 bil if T20 not given fuel subsidy –

More on the fuel subsidy topic once again, with the government stating how much it could save if the top 20 (T20) income group was not given fuel subsidies. According to deputy finance minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, Putrajaya could save up to RM17 billion from that segment should it implement a targeted subsidy scheme, according to news reports.

Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, he said that the government spent RM50.8 billion in subsidies for petrol, diesel and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) in 2022, and of that total, about 35% or RM17.8 billion went to the T20. He added that the M40 group made up 41% of the total, and the B40 group, 24%. Last year, the amount enjoyed by the T20 was said to be RM8 billion, so that’s a bit of a jump from then.

“If the T20 is not given petrol, diesel and LPG subsidies, the government can save between RM15 billion and RM17 billion. You can imagine how this can be used to assist the people through programmes from all 26 ministries,” he said during the question and answer session in Parliament yesterday.

He was responding to a supplementary question by Datuk Ahmad Amzad Hashim (PN-Kuala Terengganu), who asked if the government’s move to use an integrated database in its planned targeted subsidy mechanism would be effective in filtering out leakages, and how those who have dropped from the M40 group to the B40 will still benefit from government subsidies.

The matter of targeted subsidies has been brought up on numerous occasions over the years, and prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has renewed the push to implement such a scheme. Having asked relevant government ministries to explore the impact of such a move last year, it was expected that an announcement of some sort would be made during the retabling of Budget 2023, but nothing along those lines came about.

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