Sunday, November 02, 2008

New fuel rebate system next year, says Shahrir

PUTRAJAYA: A new rebate system will be introduced next year to replace the present cash rebate given to eligible vehicle owners.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad said the Government would have to rethink the rebate system as the people were unhappy with the current one.

“This is the feedback we have got. There are people who are satisfied with the rebate system introduced in June but many are not happy.

“We have yet to decide on a new system. We are still discussing, and toying with ideas and suggestions before deciding,” he told a press conference yesterday.

When the Government increased fuel prices in June, it also announced that private vehicles with engine capacity of up to 2,000cc as well as pick-up trucks and jeeps with engine capacity of 2,500cc would be given a rebate of RM625 a year per vehicle.

It also announced that owners of motorcycles with engine capacity of 250cc would be given a rebate of RM150 per motorcycle a year, from April 1 to March 31, 2009.

Shahrir said that between April and September, the Government had paid out RM2.5bil in rebate payments and it had five months to plan a new and better system.

On another matter, the minister said the floor price for petrol in the country should not be lower than RM1.92 per litre, where pump prices are “reasonable without having to be subsidised”.

He said the price could be achieved if world crude oil prices were between US$65 and US$70 per barrel, adding that last month’s average price was US$76.44 per barrel.

“The RM1.92 per litre price at pumps is merely my view. I believe we should try to reduce or even stop forking out money for fuel subsidy and use it instead for development and economic purposes.

“Despite the decline in global fuel price, the subsidy the Government has to fork out is still substantial.”

Shahrir said that when the Government announced the petrol price of RM2.70 per litre in June, the amount of subsidy spent on fuel alone was RM1.97bil while July and August saw a decline in subsidy payment of RM1.95bil and RM1.42bil respectively.

New fuel rebate system next year, says Shahrir
Malaysia Star, Malaysia