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Feb 16, 2008

No Decision Yet On Fuel Subsidy

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop said Malaysia was confident to reduce the budget deficit to 3.1% this year.

He said Malaysia was providing fuel and food subsidies and the country was trying to reduce the deficit.

Government provides education, fuel and health care subsidies amounted at RM 81 billion, therefore we must be "disciplined", Nor Mohamed said in an interview on RTM1 here, Friday (15 Feb).

"Although we provide subsidies at RM81 bil, we are still able to reduce the deficit from 5.5% in 2000 to 3.2% in 2007 and we are confident we can reduce the deficit even further to 3.1% this year," he added.

He said government would continue to provide subsidies to people but the ways and target groups might be different.

"Government will formulate a mechanism to avoid distortion," he continued.

When asked whether government would reduce subsidy, he said government provided subsidy could relief the burden of people.

"Government will formulate a mechanism to review the policy. If there are weaknesses, we must take action to rectify it. We will change the policy if necessary," he said. (Sin Chew Daily)


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