PAPAR: The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living will hold discussions with the Sabah and Sarawak governments, before the implementation of any diesel subsidy retargeting programme in both states.
Its Minister, Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali, said that the discussions are crucial as a preparation to determine the community groups which will receive the subsidy if the federal government decides to retarget the diesel subsidy and expand it to Sabah and Sarawak.
The Papar Member of Parliament said that the retargeting of diesel subsidy has not been implemented in Sabah and Sarawak thus far, due to its high consumption in both states.
“The state governments and enforcement agencies need to be prepared to see which components or segments of the community can be proposed to be considered for the retargeting of diesel subsidy, if implemented in Sabah and Sarawak in the future.
“We are preparing in advance, if the government decides to expand (the programme) to Sabah and Sarawak, at least we can submit a proposal to the federal government for any segment of society with high (diesel) consumption, we recommend (subsidy) with a certain mechanism,” he said.
He said this at a press conference here today, in conjunction with the announcement of the Festive Season Maximum Price Control Scheme (SHMMP) for the Chinese New Year celebration, which will be in effect from Feb 6 to 14.
Yesterday, Armizan announced that Subsidised Diesel Control System 2.0 (SKDS 2.0) for land transport, a pilot project by his ministry, was being implemented for two months from yesterday, to provide a mechanism for the retargeting of diesel subsidy, expected to be implemented in the second quarter of this year in the Peninsula.
In this regard, Armizan said that his ministry also needs the cooperation of all enforcement agencies, including the state governments, to jointly streamline control and enforcement mechanisms, so that the illegal activities of diesel smuggling in Sabah and Sarawak can be curbed.
“It is pointless for us continuing the high subsidy if, in the end, the subsidy flows out, and instead of being enjoyed by the target groups, it is smuggled out at the border,” he said. -Bernama
Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali (left)/BERNAMAPix