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Feb 25, 2008

Reduce the impact not the price ......

Government to find new ways to reduce oil price impact: PM


The government will find new ways to reduce the impact of the rise in world oil prices, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today.

Abdullah said he was pledged to lighten the burden on the people of the fuel price increase, which was beyond the government’s control.

“That is why we have been providing various kinds of subsidies and will continue to do so,” he said to 300 taxi and limousine drivers who gathered at Seberang Jaya here to show support for the BN. “This includes subsidies to fishermen, free education, text books for students and cheap electricity and water rates and even medical facilities.”

Abdullah admitted the pinch in people’s pockets caused by rising fuel prices and their knock-on effects.

“The government is well aware of it and has been doing its best to keep fuel prices under control,” he said. “Despite having to bear the high cost, we do it because the Barisan Nasional government is public-spirited and concerned about the welfare of the people.”

The Prime Minister, however, warned that the government could not indefinitely maintain the enormous subsidies required to hold prices down.

“If all the money goes to subsidising fuel prices, what is going to happen to other sectors?” he said.

Abdullah said the government spent about RM43.4 billion in various subsidies, which is more than the RM40 billion provided for development.


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