Anwar Anwar: Government is ready to correct weaknesses in diesel subsidies targeted at specific consumers

BAGAN SERI – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the Minister of Finance for Malaysia, said that the government was ready to correct any shortcomings in the targeted diesel subsidies to ensure that those who are eligible to receive the subsidy were not affected.

When the targeted diesel subsidies were implemented, Prime Minister Blair said that it was not going to be perfect and there would be weaknesses.

“But the Government is willing to improve it.” He said that paddy farmers and fishermen as well as school bus operators are among those who will be affected. If they do not receive the subsidy they will also be helped.

Anwar claimed that the increase doesn’t affect the people. Anwar said that people who use diesel to make a living will be supported.

This subsidy is only for the poor. We will allow them to apply for the subsidy if they use diesel school buses for example,” he said.

He said that the issue of targeted diesel subsidies should not be controversial, because all prime ministers before him were in agreement about the many loopholes.

Anwar found it odd that the issue became a political one when all parties were in agreement with the decision.

He said that compared to water tariff increases, this did not cause any problems because all states are involved.

“On the contrary, the targeted diesel subvention is a problem because it’s a Federal government decision.

“We were able save RM4.5bil when we removed subsidies from the super-rich.

He added, “Most people weren’t affected. If anyone is affected they can appeal to us and we will take it into consideration.”

Anwar stated that it is not correct to call the act cruel.

He added, “If we don’t, then year after year there won’t be the courage to implement any policy and government will continue to suffer losses.”

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