A total of 40,231 petrol-powered taxi owners in Malaysia will get a 78 sen subsidy on petrol, bringing it down to the original price of RM1.92 per litre for RON97 octane. This subsidy is limited to 720 litres per month, or a maximum of RM561.60. The subsidy will be controlled via a fleetcard system, similiar to the fleetcard used for subsidised diesel. This will cost the government RM271 million a year.
Datuk Shahrir also said that the savings from reduced subsidies for the government this year now amounts to only RM2 billion instead of the initially estimated RM4.4 billion as the price of crude oil has gone up.
In other public transport fuel-related news, the government will be pushing for buses to use CNG (compressed natural gas) instead of diesel. This will increase the consumption of CNG in this country, currently used by NGVs consisting of 94% taxis, 0.4% buses and 5.6% private vehicles. It won’t be a “dream fuel” forever as the price for CNG is also expected to go up in the future.
UPDATE: Taxi drivers have been asking for a minimum charge of RM3 instead of the current RM2 when a passenger gets into the cab, and are still persistent in requesting for the higher charges despite the new petrol subsidy. Malaysian Taxi Drivers and Owners Association secretary Hiew Pow Man says this is because the new subsidy doesn’t do much to help taxis as most run on NGV.