Budi Madani diesel subsidy criteria too stringent for agriculture sector, says Dr Wee

Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, a member of the Petaling JAYA Municipal Council, says that the current eligibility criteria for the Budi Madani Diesel Subsidy Scheme is too strict for smallholders and farmers.

The MCA President said that because the requirement is currently for all applicants to have a registered company with an annual sales revenue ranging between RM50,000 and RM300,000.000, the vast majority farmers and smallholders won’t qualify for subsidy.

Dr Wee emphasized that the RM200 subsidy per month is insufficient to support smallholders, farmers and agricultural machinery, such as irrigation systems and generators.

In a post on Facebook, Dr Wee said that if the diesel subsidy is rationalised, it will result in increased costs for smallholders and farms. This will either lead to higher food prices or a reduction of production.

He added that “food security and food price are of paramount public importance. It is a mistake to place the agriculture sector within the Budi Madani Scheme.”

Dr Wee argued, like the transportation sector the agriculture sector also should be eligible for Subsidised diesel Control System 2.0, instead of being under the Budi Madani Diesel Subsidy Scheme.

“However, if the government insists that the agriculture sector be placed under the Budi Madani Scheme, the amount for monthly subsidies should increase to a more sensible amount.

The Ayer Hitam MP said that the eligibility criteria should include sole proprietors. He suggested that the annual sales threshold be revised from RM50,000 up to RM300,000. Instead, it should be RM0 up to RM1.5mil.

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