The petrol subsidy programme (PSP) is ready to be implemented by the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry (KPDNHEP), but it is waiting for the green light from the cabinet, The Star reports.

According to KPDNHEP minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, the finance ministry is currently finding the best way to register the M40 group (middle 40% income), which is also eligible for petrol subsidy along with the B40. He said that the two ministries had their first meeting on the matter in the first week of 2020.

“On our part, we have managed to identify 2.9 million recipients from the bottom 40% population (B40). If you look into the Budget 2020 announcement, the finance minister allocated RM2.4 billion for the PSP and we are targeting eight million people to benefit from the programme. We are still fine-tuning the delivery mechanism and will come up with a better communication plan for the people to understand the PSP,” he said.

However Saifuddin did not share any timelines when he spoke to reporters at the 2020 Malaysia Economic and Strategic Outlook Forum event in KL today.

Earlier this month, Saifuddin was quoted as saying that M40 PSP registration will start in the second quarter. “The data for the recipients has been completed and the two ministries are currently discussing on the method of distribution. The government is looking for a seamless integration where consumers will not feel any difference when purchasing petrol once the PSP is implemented,” he said then.

“In conducting the study for B40, KPDNHEP felt that paying cash would be more efficient as compared with other methods, so the deferment of the PSP has enabled both ministries to come to the same decision,” he added.

The PSP was originally planned to start in January 2020, but at the end of last year the government announced that it will be deferred to a later, unspecified date. According to KPDNHEP, the move will allow for more initiatives to be undertaken to ensure the public were well informed and prepared for the programme’s implementation.

Additionally, the deferment gives the finance ministry time to continue the registration process of those in M40 group who are eligible for the PSP, it was said then.

So, for now Malaysians will continue pay the fixed RM2.08 per litre for RON 95, while the floated RON 97 is currently priced at RM2.53 per litre.

So far, confirmed details of the PSP scheme are:

  • The subsidy will only be given to car/motorcycle owners, and is limited to one vehicle per recipient. If a person owns a car and a motorbike, then he/she will receive the higher subsidy, which is for the car. The car or motorcycle must be registered under the recipient’s name.
  • The subsidy rate will be capped at RM30 a month for car owners, and RM12 a month for motorcycle owners.
  • The government will reimburse the subsidy once every four months, so car owners will receive RM120 and motorcycle owners will receive RM48 every four months. The payment method will see cash being directly credited into the recipient’s registered bank account. The first payment is scheduled for April 2020.
  • Only those who are entitled for cost of living aid (BSH) assistance, with their names listed in the BSH database for receiving such allowances, will be able to receive the new petrol subsidy. All handicapped people will also be given the subsidy.
  • The household income of the recipient must not be more than RM4,000 per month.
  • To qualify, a recipient can only own a maximum of two cars and two motorcycles at any one time in his/her household. See the info-graphic panel above for a clearer picture of what vehicle combination qualifies and what doesn’t.
  • For cars, the pre-requisite is that the engine displacement must be:
    1,600 cc or below
    – or above 1,600 cc, but only for cars that are 10 years old and above
  • For motorcycles, the pre-requisite is that the engine displacement must be:
    150 cc and below
    – or above 150 cc, but only for motorcycles that are seven years old and above