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According to a Bernama report, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism ministry (KPDNKK) expects to implement the diesel subsidy rationalisation plan in early January.

The ministry is awaiting the final decision from the Economic Planning Unit and the Finance ministry, regarding a number of policies, before implementation takes place, said KPDNKK secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad.

“The implementation of the subsidy rationalisation for just diesel is expected in January, while that for petrol will take a little longer. This is because the system for diesel is the Diesel Subsidy Control System which is ready, and we are merely ‘upgrading’.

“For petrol, we are starting from zero and it needs time,” he said, adding that the rationalisation of petrol subsidies could happen two to three months after that for diesel.

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According to Alias, around 780,000 vehicles will be involved in the subsidy rationalisation for diesel, and about 18 million for petrol. He also said the diesel subsidy rationalisation will result in savings of between five and six million litres annually.

Second finance minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah revealed in July that the government is looking at a certain salary level to be eligible for fuel subsidies. He cited, as an example, those with monthly earnings of RM4,000 and below alongside those earning more, and up to a certain level.

Meanwhile, an official decision has yet to be reached on whether RON 95 petrol and diesel will be exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The tax is scheduled to come into effect on April 1, 2015.

But we’ll know the fate of our fuel prices soon enough, as the final list of zero-rated or tax-exempted items will be gazetted on October 10, when Budget 2015 will be tabled in Parliament.