Targeted fuel subsidy scheme to be announced in a "few weeks"

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 10): The government's targeted fuel subsidy system “is ready” and will be announced in a few weeks, according to Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

"We have got the plan ready now we ware waiting for the implementation. Let us wait for PM (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak)'s announcement. But we already know when we will be implementing it," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby after Najib tabled the Budget 2015 earlier this evening.

He also added that the new system will have different parts to address commercial vehicle owners and private vehicle owners separately.

Ahmad Husni, who is also the Tambun MP, said that the announcement on the part of the system that addresses commercial vehicle owners will be made before the part on private vehicle owners.

Ahmad Husni also said that there will be no changes to sugar and flour subsidies as part of the government's subsidy rationalisation plan, for now.

Many have speculated that a glimpse of the new system will be unveiled during the tabling of the Budget, but Najib merely said that the new scheme will be revealed in the near future, without revealing further details.

Meanwhile, in response to the Budget 2015, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala said it was a "pro-growth budget".

"It is fiscally responsible as it takes tough measures with continuing subsidy rationalisation and the (implementation) of the Goods and Services Tax (GST)," he said.

He added that it was also an "inclusive" budget, as it addressed many segments of the society - be it women, youth or the disabled.

"It is a good balance between a 'capital economy' and a 'people economy'," he said.

Meanwhile, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said in order for the budget to truly be a "people's Budget" the government should outline measures to deal with corruption and leakages.

"If we look at it now, there are measures to reduce the people's burdens. But the core issue of cronyism and corruption (as in the cases of the) Independent Power Producers (IPP) and 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) [were not addressed]," said the DAP secretary-general.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim echoed this sentiment, adding that it was "dangerous" for leakages to go into the millions but still not addressed by the government.

He said that the budget also did not really address the rising cost of living.