Ahead of Budget 2014, which will be tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on October 25, Parliament yesterday approved the Supplementary Supply (2013) Bill for RM15 billion, and of this amount, RM8.9 billion is set to be channeled towards fuel subsidies, reports indicate.
“The petroleum subsidies are a huge burden on the government. Back then, one tong was US$102, but it increased to US$115 in August. This supplementary bill allocates RM8.853 billion for subsidies,” Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan told reporters.
Last month, the government reduced subsidies for RON 95 and diesel by 20 sen in a move it said would save about RM1.1 billion this year, and if extrapolated to a full year, can reach savings of RM3.3 billion annually. A massive RM24.8 billion had earlier been allocated for fuel subsidies this year.
In August, the actual price of RON 95 petrol was RM2.79 per litre, while that of diesel was RM2.73 – at the previous retail rate at the pump of RM1.90 per litre for RON 95 and RM1.80 for diesel, per litre government subsidisation was 89 sen for RON 95 and 93 sen for diesel.
In September, the unsubsidised price of RON 95 was listed as RM2.73 per litre, and that of diesel at RM2.80. As a result of the price increase for both on September 3, government subsidisation at the pump dropped to 63 sen for RON 95 and 80 sen for diesel. The price of market float RON 97 was also increased by 15 sen to RM2.85 on September 4.
According to a report on Monday, Malaysians can expect no fuel price increase in the near future. Rumours had surfaced last week regarding another fuel price increase, leading Ahmad Maslan to come out and deny talks that such a hike would take place.